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6 current football players join O'Bannon lawsuit

By Ralph D. Russo

AP College Football Writer

LAST UPDATED: 03:59 p.m. HST, Jul 19, 2013

NEW YORK >> Six current college football players were added as plaintiffs today to a high-profile anti-trust lawsuit that claims the NCAA owes billions of dollars to former players for allowing their likenesses to be used without compensation.

The players are: Vanderbilt linebacker Chase Garnham; Clemson cornerback Darius Robinson; linebacker Jake Fischer and kicker Jake Smith from Arizona; and tight end Moses Alipate and wide receiver Victor Keise of Minnesota.

"These athletes are incredibly brave. They are well-aware of the risks of standing up to the NCAA, and yet they felt that this was the right thing to do," Michael Hausfeld, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

Former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon is the lead plaintiff among 16 former college athletes in the long-running legal battle that could fundamentally alter how the NCAA operates. Basketball Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson previously joined the lawsuit that also names video-game maker EA and the Collegiate Licensing Company.

A federal judge in Oakland, Calif., on July 5 allowed the attorneys to update their lawsuit to fix legal technicalities, including adding at least one active player to the lawsuit.

The judge is still mulling whether to turn the lawsuit into a class action, representing thousands of current and former athletes. Such a ruling would be a significant legal victory for the players, exposing the NCAA and its member schools to billions of dollars in damage.

The move to add current players comes a day after the NCAA announced that it would no longer allow EA to use its name and logo in video games.

Hausfeld called the NCAA's decision to break ties with EA "petty and arrogant"

"It's admission of a practice that goes to the heart of the contention that the NCAA believes it is above the law," he said late Wednesday.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn responded in a statement that the NCAA's business relationship with EA only pertained to the logo and name.

"Student-athletes were never a part of this relationship and plaintiffs' attorneys know it. Further, the $545,000 paid annually to the NCAA for the use of the logo and name goes right back to support student-athletes across all three divisions," she said.

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ROBT wrote:
This is so stupid! These athletes did not have to accept the scholarship to play in the NCAA, but they did. They knew they were not going to get paid! If you don't want to be in the league then don't renounce your scholarship and walk on at training camp to the NFL or NBA. They will pay you there if you are good enough
on July 19,2013 | 12:11AM
Truth wrote:
Video game rights were not apart of the scholarship deal and not in the language of accepting the scholarship. The language refers to television right and promotions for the school, not spinoff enterprises that have nothing to do with the school except exploitation. The video game money should be divided amongst players, after they leave the school. There is no reason for a school to make the sole profit on a person's name. I don't support them getting paid while in school but, they should receive the money.
on July 19,2013 | 02:31PM
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