NCAA Argues Against Certifying Class in Antitrust Case

In the latest round of the federal antitrust case led by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon against the NCAA, Electronic Arts and College Licensing Co, the National Collegiate Athletic Association argued in court that it is improper to certify former college athletes as a class because they did not provide evidence to support their claims "that NCAA amateurism rules illegally 'restrain' current SAs [student athletes] from selling broadcast or video game 'group licenses.'" O'Bannon's lawsuit alleges that all the parties involved colluded to avoid paying athletes for using their likenesses in various sports video games made be EA.

The NCAA further argues that the plaintiff(s) have not proven that such "licenses" actually exist or could even legally exist and that they have not provided any evidence that members of the class would be paid for these licenses if the NCAA's amateurism rules were eliminated.

"Instead, APs [antitrust plaintiffs] argue that the lack of evidence is immaterial, because the new liability theories do not require evidence," the filing states. "APs now claim certification is warranted based solely on the hypothetical and highly speculative opinions of their experts that, in the but-for-world, the NCAA and/or its membership would have adopted rules requiring that broadcast revenues be shared equally with class members."

A hearing on the motion for class certification is scheduled for June 20 in front of U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken.

You can read more in the NCAA's response here (PDF).

Source: Courthouse News


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