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Arian Foster and Desmond Howard among group of athletes to sign 'statement of support' for O'Bannon case

With the Northwestern players’ fight for unionization dominating the headlines, another fight against the NCAA has fallen a bit under the radar.

The O’Bannon v. NCAA lawsuit over the use of student-athletes’ names and likenesses for commercial purposes continues on, and CBS Sports is reporting that more than 50 former college athletes signed a “statement of support” for the lawsuit. The signees include a number of prominent names, including members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The statement was obtained by CBS Sports from the office of Michael Hausfeld, Ed O’Bannon’s lead attorney. The statement reads:

"We, athletes who competed in NCAA sponsored collegiate sporting events, express our full support of and agreement with the lawsuit brought by Ed O'Bannon on behalf of current and former collegiate athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Further, we wish to call attention to the compelling need for dramatic change in the relationship between college athletes and the NCAA and respect for athlete rights."

While a settlement has been encouraged by the judge presiding over the case, a trial could begin in the summer if no settlement is reached.

Among the notable players who signed the statement include: Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, Heisman trophy winner and current ESPN analyst Desmond Howard, Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew, and NFL Hall of Famers Thurman Thomas and Eric Dickerson.

The full list of athletes can be viewed here.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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