On the final day of the O'Bannon trial, the plaintiffs have submitted their recommendations for how to enable players to receive a bigger cut of the NCAA's revenue and to take control of their own likenesses. The final decision is up to Judge Claudia Wilken, and the NCAA will surely appeal any losses, but the document gives a guideline of what the plaintiffs envision in a post-O'Bannon world.
Here's the full document -- the actual proposals begin on page six:
The NCAA has filed a response, but it's sealed due to the inclusion of confidential information. The plaintiffs' proposed new college sports world is pretty simple. It would ...
- ... take away all rules stopping athletes from negotiating with companies, broadcasters, sponsors, and others for the use of athlete names, images, and likenesses.
- ... allow conferences or schools to decide through negotiation how much money athletes are able to get — either directly, or through trust funds.
- ... allow athletes to market themselves.
- ... take away many of the current NCAA rules that prohibit schools from helping athletes and their families financially.
Initially, it looks like the plaintiffs have a good chance of winning a lot of the things on their wish list.
The ability for players to market themselves seems like a no-brainer — the NCAA is really struggling to argue against it at trial — but the part of the injunction involving names, images, and likenesses could be interesting. It seems likely players will at least get the right to bargain for likenesses, but will they be limited to trust funds? We'll have all these answers in August.
Stay tuned for Saturday's full breakdown of the trial, on who won which arguments and what happens next.