O’Bannon, et al. v. NCAA; Electronic Arts Inc.; & Collegiate Licensing Company

Government Resource Proposal

Edward O’Bannon vs. NCAA was an antitrust class action lawsuit brought about in 2009, receiving an official ruling in The United States District Court for the Northern District of California on August 8th, 2014. The plaintiffs in the case were a group of current and former college student-athletes seeking to challenge the NCAA’s set of rules that ban student-athletes from receiving a share of the revenue that the NCAA and members schools earn from the sale of licenses to use the student-athletes’ names, images, and likenesses in video games and other footage. The plaintiffs claimed the rules violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibits business activities that the federal government regulators deem to be anti-competitive. On the other hand, the NCAA claims “that its restrictions on student-athlete compensation are necessary to uphold its educational mission and to protect the popularity of collegiate sports” (2). Other defendants include both the Electronic Arts Inc. and the Collegiate Licensing Company

The actual court verdict will not only help to lay out the monumental changes made to the NCAA rules, but the evidence, findings and supporting facts that played a major role in the decision. The verdict discusses the college education market, the group licensing market, the integration of academics and athletics and the ability of the ruling to increase output (number of schools, athletes and games). The federal judge ruled that the NCAA’s rules violated antitrust law because they “unreasonably restrain trade” (2). In my paper I will use the information from the court verdict to better understand how the collegiate sports industry and role of the student-athlete have changed over time and consider how the NCAA should move forward following this decision.

This source is extremely reliable, as it is the official “findings of fact and conclusions of law” produced by the federal government. It should be noted that certain exhibits and other relevant information mentioned in the case decision may need to be located through additional research. United States District Judge, Claudia Wilken, also entered an injunction following the case to more clearly lay out how the NCAA shall “cure the specific violations found in this case (99).

Link to official court decision


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