With the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit scheduled to begin on June 9, the lone defendant in the suit (NCAA) is running out of time to derail the plaintiffs in their quest to force changes with relation to the use of player likenesses and the limits placed on what athletes can receive while in college.
It’s been accepted at this point that the NCAA has no interest in settling the case before it goes to trial, and according to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today the goal is to convince Judge Claudia Wilken to either throw the class action suit out of delay its start.
According to the story there are two paths the NCAA would like Wilken to take: either dismantle the class action case of separate the aspects of the suit related to video games from the rest of the suit. This move comes as a result of the settlements agreed to by the plaintiffs and Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) not being finalized at this point in time.
The NCAA’s motion Friday night regarding video games relates, in part, to the lack of a resolution of a proposed settlement that involved the other two other parties that initially had been named as co-defendants — video game manufacturer Electronic Arts (EA) and the Collegiate Licensing Co., the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing firm. The proposed settlement’s existence was revealed in September 2013, but a final version has not been filed.
There have been those who have cited the recent moves by the NCAA, be it the changes in the amount of food athletes can receive to the move towards autonomy by the “power five” conferences, as moves with this suit in mind. Is that the case? Who really knows, but since this suit was first filed it’s become more apparent that there will be some changes to the current model.
Prior moves to have this suit thrown out in court have been rejected, but attempting once again to convince Judge Wilken is an understandable move by the NCAA. Whether or not the governing body’s luck changes remains to be seen, but given past rulings the NCAA’s chances may not be good.