Making the morning rounds.
• Finally, someone stands up for the rights of HB No. 22. A U.S. District Court in California has exempted EA Sports from a class-action suit initiated by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon over the unauthorized use of athletes' likenesses in video games. (O'Bannon's original complaint, filed in 2009, was later expanded to include other ex-NCAA athletes represented by generic doppelgangers in EA Sports' college games, including former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller and Hall-of-Fame hoopster Oscar Robertson.) EA was absolved because a judge determined there was no evidence that the company agreed to participate in the alleged "conspiracy" that requires all incoming NCAA athletes to sign away marketing and licensing rights in perpetuity, meaning players will still have to plunk down $60 to control pixellated versions of themselves with no claim on profits.
Note, tough, that while EA in the clear, the complaint against the NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing Company — the entities that actually restrict student-athletes from lending their name or image to commercial interests, even after they're no longer students — continues lurching forward. [Sports Business Daily]
• More 'Canes on ice. According to a report ($) by Inside the U, the Miami affiliate of 247 Sports, coach Al Golden has suspended four more players for the season opener for separate incidents last month — two of whom were already among the six players who were reportedly suspended for the opener in March, bringing the prospective suspension total at Maryland on Sept. 3 to eight players in all. The latest report names three 'Canes (running back Storm Johnson, linebacker Travis Williams and cornerback Keion Payne) who have allegedly been suspended at least one game for an unspecified incident at a residence hall on April 27, and another (offensive lineman Jermaine Barton) who was involved in a separate incident on April 29.
Johnson and Payne were part of the first round of suspensions (which included hyped offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson) and may miss more than one game. Or, you know, no games: Miami still hasn't confirmed any suspensions. [Inside the U, South Florida Sun Sentinel]
• The Price is adequate. As expected, Washington has named sophomore Keith Price its starting quarterback over Nick "Yes That Montana" Montana after one of the most-watched QB derbies of the spring. "Based on his entire body of work this spring, Keith Price has earned the right to be our starting quarterback," coach Steve Sarkisian said in a release. "Keith worked extremely hard this spring and has developed into a team leader. I am also pleased with the progress of Nick Montana, who will continue to push Keith and make us a better football team." Translation: Dude, please don't transfer. [Seattle Times]
• What have you done for us lately? The San Jose Mercury News offers double-edged praise to Cal coach Jeff Tedford for constructing a "marvelous" pipeline of talent to the NFL, now home to 33 ex-Bears overall — four of whom were recognized by the NFL Network's list of the league's 100 best players last year, trailing only Miami (10) and Tennessee (6) — with at least one Tedford product at every offensive and defensive position. So why has it been four years since Cal's finished in the top 25?
"There is, to put a finer point on it, simmering disenchantment with Tedford's inability to take future NFL talent and use it to better benefit Cal, which pays his $2.3 million salary," writes the Mercury-News' Monte Poole. "And after a sub-.500 season (5-7) in 2010, simmer is primed to turn to boil." [San Jose Mercury News]
• Get well soon. Carson Tinker, the Alabama player who was thrown from his house last week in the tornado that leveled Tuscaloosa, has been released from the hospital, according to coach Nick Saban, but still faces recovery from a broken wrist and other injuries. "Carson's good. He's going to take a little while to get healed up," Saban said Wednesday. "He's also got some psychological trouble - he lost his girlfriend. It's tough on everybody." [Birmingham News]
Quickly… Colorado signee Nelson Spruce is arrested for marijuana possession. … Georgia signee Chris Mayes, a four-star defensive tackle, takes a detour through junior college. … The Chick-Fil-A Bowl donates $70,000 to Alabama tornado relief, via Nick Saban's charity. … James Rodgers takes on the skeptics, again. … USC's brief flirtation with black socks is not a success. … Jim Delany calls Nebraska the Green Bay Packers of the Big Ten. … Massive Pennsylvania tight end prospect Colin Thompson is making his college choice today. … Barbara Dooley on Darrell Royal getting naked in her hotel room and why her house smells "like a urinal." … Penn State's original uniforms Were pink and black. … And Arizona State holds its annual end-of-semester undie run, though frankly there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of running going on.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.