Will The NCAA Finally Have To Pay Athletes?

If you're a sports fan, you probably have an opinion about the NCAA's policy regarding amateur athletes. Either you think they should get paid, or you think they should be grateful for the education and exposure the NCAA affords them. Everyone thinks something. And yet, it's sort of hard to care at this point.

The debate's gone on so long that arguments from both sides have faded into a white noise that most of us just ignore. Do we really think anything will ever change? It might, thanks to a new lawsuit. From the New York Times:

A district court judge in San Francisco on Monday denied the N.C.A.A.’s motion for dismissal in a class-action lawsuit headed by the former U.C.L.A. basketball star Ed O’Bannon. The ruling leaves the N.C.A.A.’s licensing contracts open to discovery.

O’Bannon’s lawyers filed the antitrust suit in July, claiming that former athletes should be compensated for the use of their images and likenesses in television advertisements, video games and on apparel.

It's a pretty seminal decision in the battle for profit sharing among college athletes, with Ed O'Bannon as the perfect face for the struggle. A college-superstar-turned-failed-pro, O'Bannon is exactly the sort of person who deserves some compensation for the NCAA's continued exploitation of his likeness.

The pro superstars don't need money, but what guys like O'Bannon or Eric Crouch, who disappeared from the public eye, but still make money for the NCAA and their respective schools through jersey sales, highlight videos, and video games? It's a point of contention that could settle this debate once-and-for-all.

Relevant Lil Wayne Lyric: "Listen close, I got duct tape and rope / I leave you missin like the f—in O'Bannons" ... From "Cannon"

FREE LIL WAYNE

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