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O’Bannon case to add one current athlete, but protect them from NCAA

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Former UCLA player Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit against the NCAA seems to gain a little more steam, and a few more advocates, by the day. Those advocates apparently include current college basketball players. Or at least, they will.

O’Bannon’s lawyer said they will add a current player to the suit and has asked the NCAA not to take action on any player that enters into it, according to an article on

O’Bannon attorney Michael Hausfeld sent a letter to NCAA attorney Gregory Curtner requesting that the NCAA, on behalf of itself and its universities and conferences, to agree they will not take “any adverse action of retaliation, intimidation, or coercion, including loss of scholarship, eligibility, or playing time” against a current athlete.

Hausfeld and his team are in the processing of getting one current player’s name added to the lawsuit, in all likelihood to add some timely relevance to the case — it’s easier to bring in younger supporters when someone their age is involved. The article also explains that the lawsuit is meant to help current players being hurt by the NCAA and the other two defendants in the case, College Licensing Company and Electronic Arts Sports.

The stipulation offered by the plaintiffs asks the NCAA to agree that “participation in this litigation by a current student athlete does not violate any NCAA rule (spanning the constitution, operating bylaws, and administrative bylaws) contained in the 2012-13 NCAA Division I manual or otherwise compromise a student athlete’s eligibility.”

The NCAA has until July 12 to execute the stipulation and make any changes to it they see fit. Though Hausfeld wrote that if the defendants chose not to enter in the stipulation, the plaintiffs must be informed so they can take action.

O’Bannon and his team have until July 19 to add one current athlete.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.