NCAA to fight Ed O'Bannon suit 'all the way to the Supreme Court'

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

Neither side shows any signs of backing down, and the NCAA looks like it's preparing for a long battle in court.

In 2009, Ed O'Bannon put together a class action lawsuit against the NCAA for using the names and likenesses of former and current college athletes.

Four years later, the case is nowhere near resolution. Don't expect it to end any time soon, either. The NCAA has declared that it will "take this all the way to the Supreme Court" if it has to, according to comments NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy made to USA Today.

The NCAA has also dug itself in for an extended legal fight, having retained the services of two new legal firms -- one to handle the trial, and another to handle appeals.

All of this is part of an ongoing debate on how to properly compensate student-athletes -- or whether or not they should be compensated at all. The general thinking among colleges and athletic directors is that payment would ruin the amateurism aspect of college athletics. On Wednesday, the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association put out a statement slamming the potential of a "pay for play" solution, and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany pitched a plan of his own Thursday morning, suggesting that the NFL needed its own minor league.

Big changes are sure to come in the way the NCAA handles this issue, but it doesn't look like the debate will be resolved in the near future, considering the need to fund men and women's sports equally and the financial disparity that exists between large and small schools.

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