Thursday, January 5, 2012

O'Bannon suit looks for TV documents to help bolster case


There really wasn't a short headline that we could think of to describe this story because yeah, it's complicated.

A story this morning in the Birmingham News reports that the lawyers for a group of former college athletes filed a motion in court trying to compel the SEC, ESPN and the BCS to turn over documents that would help their argument that the NCAA and others are violating the law by not allowing players to get paid for using their likenesses.

The case began as a lawsuit by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, several others including Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson have joined the lawsuit, which though complicated, is very interesting.

The Birmingham News story mentions the group's lawyers want copies of the SEC contract with ESPN and the BCS. To which we say, "Good Luck with that". They've apparently made similar requests with all BCS conferences, most Division 1 basketball conferences and several networks.

The case, which seems to be getting more and more complicated, is supposed to go to trial in early 2013.

Read the Birmingham News story RIGHT HERE

Honestly, this is a lot of verbiage for what is a fairly simple issue: Schools, conferences and others profiting off players without having to pay the players.

Look at it like this. If you are a fan or alum from a school and buy a replica player jersey, the player doesn't see a penny of that money. If you do that for your favorite NFL team, the player gets a cut as does the NFLPA and NFL Marketing.

Or this. The NFL players get a pretty large chunk of the NFL "TV Money". It was a big part of this past summers labor issue. In college football, the school gets millions, the conference gets millions and the BCS gets millions, the players, they get nothing. And before you say "Yeah, but they get scholarships"...that is another issue for another day.

Sure, we know it isn't a "Sexy" topic or something that makes you say "Wow", but it is a fairly newsworthy one, and one that in our effort to be educational, one we think should be mentioned. (stop laughing)

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