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Six active players join O’Bannon lawsuit
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On July 21, 2013 @ 8:18 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Erik Brady and Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY Sports
Six football players Thursday became the first current players to join a lawsuit against the NCAA pertaining to the use of college athletes’ names and likeness.
Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer, Arizona place kicker Jake Smith and Clemson defensive back Darius Robinson joined a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Califiornia against video game manufacturer Electronic Arts and the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing firm, Collegiate Licensing Co.
Also added to the case are Minnesota senior tight end Moses Alipate, Minnesota senior wide receiver Victor Keise and Vanderbilt senior linebacker Chase Garnham.
Until Thursday, the named plaintiffs in the case were a group of former college athletes, headed by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon and including all-time greats Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell.
Fischer is a 6-0, 222-pound senior from Oro Valley, Ariz., who led the Wildcats with 119 tackles last season, 76 of them solo. He was an all-Pacific-12 Conference honorable mention selection on the field and a Pac-12 first-team all-academic honoree off it.
Smith is a junior kicker from suburban Philadelphia who began his college career at Syracuse and transferred to Youngstown State before coming to Arizona, where he is expected to compete for the starting role.
Robinson is a 5-10, 170-pound senior cornerback from College Park, Ga., who missed half of each of the last two seasons with injuries. He has 33 tackles and 3 interceptions in 25 games, including 12 as a starter.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled earlier this month that the suit could be amended to add new plaintiffs who are current players. She discussed granting permission for that at a June hearing on whether to certify the suit as a class action. She has not yet ruled on that question.
The addition of the new players came as part of filing in which lawyers for the plaintiffs also amended their complaint.
Thursday’s news came one day after the NCAA said it would not renew its licensing agreement with EA Sports. The NCAA said it was confident of its legal position for use of its name and logo, but “given the current business climate and costs of litigation” it … [For more on Six active players join O'Bannon lawsuit against NCAA, click here.]
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