5 Key Takeaways from the Ruling Against NCAA in Ed O'Bannon Case

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5 Key Takeaways from the Ruling Against NCAA in Ed O'Bannon Case
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

All things considered, Friday's ruling in the Ed O'Bannon antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA served more as a compromise than an outright victory for the plaintiffs or a loss for the NCAA. 

In a 99-page document, Judge Claudia Wilken determined that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by restricting compensation for the use of an athlete's name, image and/or likeness (NIL). It's a monumental ruling, to be sure. Until now, college athletes have never been given a piece of the revenue pie for television broadcasts or paid for the purchase of their "jersey number." 

Though Wilken's decision cited those restrictions as unlawful, she also created a set of rules by which athletes could cash in on those revenue streams:

  • Players at every position will be paid equal shares for their NIL rights from a trust fund after they leave college. It is not a free-market system where the star quarterback can make more than the backup linebacker. 
  • Though the NCAA can cap that amount, it cannot prevent schools from offering at least $5,000 per athlete per year. Once the cap has been set—the NCAA would likely keep it at $5,000—schools can choose to participate if they want. This is done to promote competition in the "marketplace" of college athletics. 
  • The NCAA is also free to cap stipends, so long as they don't fall below the actual cost of attendance.
  • Wilken prohibited athletes from making money for endorsing products/services. 

Wilken's ruling takes effect on July 1, 2016. Here are five takeaways from that decision. 

 

 

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