On June 20, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken discussed the possibility of the plaintiffs in the case that involves former athletes such as Ed O’Bannon adding current student-athletes to its case.
Friday, Wilken ruled that lawyers representing the plaintiffs would be allowed to amend its complaint against the NCAA, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company to add a current student-athlete to its case according to USA Today.
The lawyers have two weeks to make the necessary adjustments, and according to lead attorney Michael Hausfeld they have some options from which to choose.
Following the hearing, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Michael Hausfeld said: “We’ve been anticipating this for quite some time and there are a number of current athletes who have expressed a desire and an interest in joining the case.”
How much of an impact will decision have on the case? That depends on who the current student-athlete(s) may be, as it will be difficult to make a case using student-athletes who’ve had little impact (read: bench-warmers) on revenue brought in by the defendants.
Also of note is whether or not the lawyers representing the plaintiffs receive assurances from the NCAA that those current student-athletes won’t have their decision to join the case held against them. It would be a lot easier to find current student-athletes to join the case if they know that their eligibility (and scholarship) won’t be at risk should they decide to do so.
Once this step is taken, Judge Wilken will then be able to render a decision in regards to whether or not the case will receive class-action certification. Then we’ll know just how big of an impact the addition of current student-athletes will have on this.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.