U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilkin has denied the NCAA’s request to dismiss a class action suit filed last year by ex-UCLA star basketball player Ed O’Bannon which alleged that the collegiate association misused the likenesses of college athletes in a variety of licensed materials, including videogames.
Rivals.com notes that the ruling will now open the door for the discovery process to begin, which could shed some light on the inner workings of the NCAA. Lawyer Jon King, a Partner at Hausfeld LLP—one of the law firms handling the class action suit—thinks such discovery could be a big deal:
This is a truly historic day – to our knowledge, no one has ever gotten behind the scenes to examine how student-athletes’ current and future rights in their images are divided up and sold.
It was also noted in the article that the Hausfeld firm is attempting to link the O’Bannon case with a similar class-action suit filed by ex-NCAA football player Samuel Keller.
If O’Bannon et al were to win the case, Rivals offered that such a judgment could “lead to former student-athletes getting a cut of the multi-billion dollar college sports revenue pool and dramatically impact the way college athletics operates.”