The NCAA said Sunday morning it would appeal U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken's ruling in the O'Bannon vs. NCAA case.
Wilken made her ruling Friday and said the NCAA couldn't stop players from profiting off their names and likenesses. The NCAA has long ruled that players cannot make income off their likenesses outside of scholarships and other NCAA-approved stipends.
While Wilken ruled against the NCAA, her ruling wasn't as severe as it could have been towards the sanctioning body. She said in her ruling that the injunction didn't prevent the NCAA from instituting a cap on the image and likeness revenue that players could receive. The limit could be in place as long as players are offered a minimum of $5,000 per year in a fund to be accessed upon exiting school.
We remain confident that the NCAA has not violated the antitrust laws and intend to appeal. We will also be seeking clarity from the District Court on some details of its ruling.
It should be noted that the Court supported several of the NCAA’s positions, and we share a commitment to better support student-athletes. For more than three years, we’ve been working to improve the college experience for the more than 460,000 student-athletes across all three divisions. On Thursday, the Division I Board of Directors passed a new governance model allowing schools to better support student-athletes, including covering the full cost of attendance, one of the central components of the injunction. The Court also agreed that the integration of academics and athletics is important and supported by NCAA rules.
Further, the Court rejected the plaintiffs’ claims that the NCAA licensed student-athletes' names, images and likenesses to EA Sports or anyone else. It also rejected the plaintiffs’ proposed model where athletes could directly market their names, images and likenesses while in college.
We look forward to presenting our arguments on appeal, and in the meantime we will continue to champion student-athlete success on the field and in the classroom.
As the statement notes, Wilken's decision came a day after the NCAA's Board of Directors voted 16-2 in favor of giving more autonomy to the Power Five conferences of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. The ruling could allow the schools in those conferences to make their own rules including allowing full cost-of-attendance scholarships.
An appeal by the NCAA had been expected.
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