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10-02-2012, 08:27 PM
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OT: Judge orders ESPN to turn over contracts in NCAA case

For those following the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA, there was a major development today. A bit of background:

O'Bannon is lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NCAA, suing on behalf of Division I men's basketball and football players. O'Bannon argues that upon graduation, a former student athlete should be entitled to compensation for future commercial usage of his or her likeness by the NCAA. O'Bannon claims that the NCAA and partner institutions have conspired to prevent compensation to the former student athletes.

Today, U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello ruled in favor of a motion filed by O'Bannon that would require ESPN to disclose all television and licensing contracts for Division I men's basketball and football since 2005.

ESPN, according to O'Bannon, is "an integral and central source of information regarding ... the licensing, sale and use" of college athletes. O'Bannon expects that ESPN's contracts will detail how the NCAA has "monetized" college sports. The dollar figures of ESPN's contracts are crucial: If O'Bannon ultimately prevails over the NCAA in court, the figures would be used in the determination of money damages. Alternatively, if O'Bannon ultimately settles with the NCAA, ESPN's contracts would likely impact any settlement figure.
Some interesting legal implications for those companies on the other end of those NCAA contracts.

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