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Black News: NCAA Being Sued Over Use of Player Likenesses

by on July 22, 2009

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LAS VEGAS — Lawyers for the former U.C.L.A. basketball star Ed O’Bannon filed a class-action lawsuit against the N.C.A.A. on Tuesday, claiming former athletes should be compensated for the use of their images and likenesses in television advertisements, video games and apparel.

The lawsuit, which did not include a dollar amount sought, will bring into focus how the N.C.A.A. handles player images, especially after players leave college and are no longer bound by N.C.A.A. rules, and its vast licensing deals, which are estimated at about $4 billion. None of that money goes to the former players whose images, jersey numbers and likenesses are used.

“We really couldn’t believe that these compensation practices still existed in any kind of industry,” said Jon T. King, a partner at Hausfeld, a Washington-based law firm that is representing O’Bannon. “We do antitrust cases in all sorts of industries, and when we learned about this disparity, it was literally shocking to us.”

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