Here is a look at the possible impact of the ruling Friday against the NCAA in the O’Bannon case.
The NCAA’s vote Thursday to grant autonomy to the ACC and the other “Power 5” conferences and the pending stipend proposal to address athletes’ “full cost of attendance,” was a step toward athletes being able to share in revenue.
This case gives athletes specific access to revenue but the main components of that money – the video game industry – no longer produces the games with college teams and the numbers assigned to individual players.
For example, O’Bannon’s lawsuit started when he noticed a supposedly generic “No. 31” (his number) with his likeness, the same height and left-handed shot, from UCLA’s 1995 national championship team in a video game.
On the other hand, the NCAA used to force athletes to sign a waiver that released the use of their likeness and image for perpetuity. That waiver – an athlete could not be eligible without signing it – is no longer part of the eligibility process. Without the O’Bannon suit, that practice would have likely continued.