Lawyers representing former college football and men’s basketball players are in federal court seeking to change the way current athletes are compensated for the use of their images and likeness. The lawyers are trying to make this a class action lawsuit , they argue that money generated from the picture box, video games and other products that use athletes’ names, images and likeness should be shared with players. They also state that if the NCAA still intends to keep the purity of “amateur” sports alive, the money made can be put in a trust until the student-athletes finish up school.
Part of the legal team told ESPN the following, “I’m sure the NCAA will go ballistic over this,” another source, a member of the plaintiffs’ legal team, told ESPN. “This is their worst nightmare, this issue coming front and center this deep into the case.” Asked by ESPN why make a case for current players now, the source said, “Now we have evidence. And so much more has happened since we originally filed our lawsuit — new media deals, new scandals.”
In a statement, released Saturday by the NCAA’s chief counsel, characterized the new angle as evidence that the lawsuit lacks merit. Even more, NCAA executive VP Donald Remy said, “Unable to prove their original claims regarding former student-athletes, plaintiffs have now abandoned those claims and are attempting to assert new claims on behalf of current student-athletes,” said Donald Remy, NCAA executive vice president and general counsel. “Unfortunately, this about face runs them smack into a very old argument, and one that the NCAA has defeated in court many times. … Plaintiffs want the court to believe that student athletes are the same as professional athletes and unionized employees — which is pure fiction. We are confident that plaintiffs will find no more success in this case than they have in past cases.”
The finacial compensation the lawyers are looking for the student-athletes have yet to become public knowledge. The idea of compensating student-athletes are not a knew idea nor will it get away if this class action lawsuit gets swept under the rug.
In a day in age where College Football and College Basketball brings in millions upon millions of dollars for universities it seems like just scholarships isn’t enough compensation for kids helping generate the money. The word “armature” in college is a blurry line these days to begin with. With the heat the NCAA has caught over its handling of the PSU molestation scandal, the non-punishment of schools “self-reporting” violations, and the fake the NCAA might have outlived its usefulness, the day of paying student athletes is sooner than most people realize.
RantSports will have more on this story as it continues to develops.
Follow your good ole pal Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone