Let’s start with the basics: What was the O’Bannon lawsuit all about in the first place? Why did Ed O’Bannon—a former UCLA basketball player who played nearly 10 years professionally—file this suit back in the summer of 2009?
The summer months are usually a pretty slow time for the NCAA and its athletes. Early June saw the last sanctioned championship — track and field — and fall sports don’t begin their play until early August. That’s a pretty big chunk of time with relatively little activity, but don’t be fooled: Every sport from…
On Aug. 8, U.S. District Court judge Claudia Wilken ’71 ruled that the NCAA was in violation of antitrust law for its use of student-athletes’ names, images and likenesses in the landmark O’Bannon vs. NCAA case. Though Wilken’s decision must be upheld in higher courts, it stands as the first nail in the coffin of the current NCAA system — one that has seen Stanford thrive as a model athletic program.
NCAA reform has been on the horizon for several years now, like a tsunami or an impending storm gathering strength miles from land; everyone who follows the action knows it is not a matter of whether or not changes are made, but when and by how much.