While Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, much has yet to be determined with regards to how the verdict will impact collegiate athletics. There are still appeals to be sorted out, as well as the question of when the changes that would require athletes to be compensated for the use of the name and likeness. According to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, both sides in the lawsuit are hoping that the changes won’t go into effect until the 2016-17 academic year.
Both sides have asked Wilken to make that clear in her judgement, which did not give a definitive start date. One would think that with the number of ongoing cases the NCAA is faced with, having more time to figure things out would work to the benefit of the defendants. But obviously the plaintiffs are also in favor of there being more time to figure it all out before Wilken’s ruling goes into effect.
In her 99-page ruling, Wilken said the injunction will not be stayed pending any appeal of her ruling, but it will not take effect until the start of the next FBS and Division I basketball recruiting cycles. In the separate injunction document she wrote: “This injunction shall not affect any prospective student-athlete who will enroll in college before July 1, 2016.”
While both sides agree on the need to push things back with regards to when the injunction would go into effect, they don’t agree on who would be eligible for the compensation. The NCAA wants to limit compensation to “prospective student-athletes enrolling in college on or after July 1, 2016” the plaintiffs don’t believe that’s fair to those currently enrolled.
“That exclusion of thousands of current student-athletes (operating under one-year renewable scholarships or multi-year scholarships) is plainly inconsistent with the Court’s injunction,” the plaintiffs wrote.
With the NCAA dealing with the lawsuit led by Jeffrey Kessler and the Northwestern football team/union situation, there are a number of “dominoes” to consider when debating the future of collegiate athletics. What will college sports look like in the end? Not sure anyone has a concrete answer at this point in time.