With it being announced last week that the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit and Electronic Arts reached an agreement on a settlement, with the video game maker due to pay $40 million, some wondered whether or not current college athletes would be able to receive money without concern of being penalized by the NCAA. The NCAA answered that question in a brief statement, noting that it will not punish current college athletes who receive a portion of the settlement.
“First, under no circumstances will we allow the proposed agreement between EA and plaintiff’s lawyers to negatively impact the eligibility of any student-athlete…not one will miss a practice or a game if this settlement is approved by the court,” the statement read. “This proposed settlement does not equate to payment of current student-athletes for their athletic performance, regardless of how it is being publicly characterized.
“Second, the real benefactors of this settlement are the lawyers, who could pocket more than $15 million.”
While that last sentence may be true, it comes off as catty and is one that whoever wrote the statement could have done without. Was there anything the NCAA would have lost by not stating that the lawyers are in line to benefit the most from the multimillion dollar settlement? Probably not.
The NCAA, the lone remaining defendant in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit after EA and the Collegiate Licensing Company agreed to settle with the plaintiffs, will look to win a suit that could have a major impact on the slate of collegiate athletics that will begin on June 9 (Monday).
As for whether or not current college basketball players could be in line to benefit from the settlement, sixth-year seniors may be the only ones with a shot. The final college basketball game produced, NCAA Basketball 10, was released in the fall of 2009.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.