On Friday, the latest ruling in former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon’s case against the NCAA came down from United States District Judge Claudia Wilken.
And depending on how you spin the ruling, it can be considered a win for both sides.
Wilken has certified the lawsuit as a class-action, but with one, significant catch: she certified the class solely for injunctive relief. Work your way through the legalese, and the nitty gritty is that current Division I basketball players and FBS football players can continue to challenge the NCAA on the restrictions that amateurism places on their earning potential, but that former players will not be able to pursue damages.
From Greg Bishop of the New York Times:
Wilken said the plaintiffs had not identified a legitmate method to calculate damages to former players.
That left O’Bannon and about 20 current or former athletes, many of whom [Sonny] Vaccaro helped to join the case, without what they desired in the first place: compensation for their likenesses and images after their playing career ended. If their case makes history, they are unlikely to profit from it.
O’Bannon and Vaccaro still could end up changing the fundamentals of college athletics, which is what they set out to do in the first place.
But without having to pay out damages to former athletes, the NCAA likely won’t be settling this case and will see the potential costs of losing limited.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.
And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.
The rest of the top 10?
They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: