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NCAA seeks clarification in O'Bannon case injunction

RADIO: Mark Emmert on the Hot Seat
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First the Ed O'Bannon case, now the Senate Commerce Committee. After Mark Emmert testified in two major cases, Beyond the Scoreboard's Rick Horrow thinks change in college sports is inevitable.

The NCAA said on Sunday it planned to appeal last Friday’s ruling in the Ed O’Bannon antitrust lawsuit, but on Monday, it started to get into specifics, mainly asking U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken to specify when her injunction becomes effective.

On Friday, Wilken ruled that NCAA limits on what Division I football and basketball players could be paid for playing violated antitrust laws. She also issued an injunction, separate from her 99-page ruling, that would prevent the NCAA “from enforcing any rules or bylaws that would prohibit its member schools and conferences from offering their FBS football or Division I basketball recruits a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images, and likenesses in addition to a full grant-in-aid."

Wilken's ruling said the NCAA couldn’t stop student-athletes from selling the rights to their names, images and likenesses, but it would apply only to athletes who enroll after July 1, 2016, at the beginning of the next recruiting cycles.

However, the NCAA thinks the term “next recruiting cycle” is ambiguous and has asked for clarification in writing.

"Under existing NCAA rules," the NCAA wrote in its brief, "student-athletes in the next recruiting cycle (i.e., student-athletes who would first enroll in college in Fall 2016) may receive offer letters from colleges starting on August 1, 2015. ... NCAA seeks to confirm that the existing NCAA rules can remain in force until August 1, 2015."

Essentially, the NCAA is asking Wilken to specifically state that her ruling does not apply to athletes enrolled before July 1, 2016.

“Colleges are in the midst of the offer letter process for prospective student-athletes planning to start college in 2015," the NCAA lawyers wrote. "Budgets and financial aid for the coming academic year are already in place or being finalized. The status of the rules governing current and 2015 enrolling student-athletes needs to be clear as soon as possible. And as to student-athletes starting college in or after 2016, the NCAA member colleges may need to adopt new rules to address a variety of matters raised by the injunction and the Court's opinion ... As the Court's Findings appreciate, it takes time for the hundreds of Division I colleges to consider and adopt new rules."

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

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