Following the landmark decision in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA Friday — which opens the door to college athletes benefiting financially from the use of their images — NCAA President Mark Emmert said the ruling could ”fundamentally shift intercollegiate athletics.
“I think it potentially could,” Emmert told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week” Sunday when asked if the ruling could turn college sports into professional sports.
“There is a lot in the ruling that I think is admirable and it’s consistent with arguments that we’ve been making all along, and there are some things about it that we really fundamentally disagree with,” Emmert added. “Most notably we disagree that there’s a violation of antitrust laws going on here and we’ll probably continue to argue that in the coming months and beyond. But it has the potential to fundamentally shift intercollegiate athletics in ways that many people are concerned about.”
Emmert said that the NCAA would appeal the ruling.
“At least in part, we will. Again no one in our legal team or in the college conferences legal teams believes that the current rules are violations of antitrust laws and we need to get that settled in the courts,” Emmert said.
On Friday, Federal Judge Claudia Wilken ruled there was no “credible evidence” provided by the NCAA why college athletes should not be able to “receive a limited share of the revenue generated from the use of their own names, images, and likenesses.”
Former star UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon had sued the NCAA after receiving no compensation for the use of his image in a video game.
“I realized that I hadn’t been compensated or even told that I was going to be on this video game. And I just thought that that was wrong,” O’Bannon told ESPN’s Tom Farrey Saturday.
O’Bannon called the ruling “a start,” and just the “tip of the iceberg.“
“It’s something… At this point anything is better than what the players, the athletes were getting,” O’Bannon told Farrey.
“This has never been about me. This has always been about the rights of the athletes. Present, past and future,” O’ Bannon added.
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