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SBD/February 21, 2014/CollegesPrint All
U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken on Thursday "green-lighted Ed O'Bannon's class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA to proceed to trial beginning June 9," according to Stewart Mandel of SI.com. If there is no settlement before that date, the plaintiffs "will ask a jury to strike down the NCAA's age-old restrictions preventing athletes from cashing in on their name, likeness and image." The purpose of Thursday's hearing was for Wilken "to ask questions of both sides in response to their dueling requests for a summary judgment that would have ended the case before proceeding to trial." It is "a rare occurrence, and as Wilken flatly acknowledged near the end of the two-hour proceeding, 'The whole case is not going away on summary judgment.'" But Wilken "could issue a ruling that dismisses certain types of evidence or narrows the scope of the case." Mandel noted ultimately a jury, "not the judge, will decide both sides' fate." But Wilken indicated that she "might throw out one or more of those justifications from consideration." EA and the Collegiate Licensing Co. "are no longer defendants in the case" following a $4M settlement announced in November. However, Wilken "expressed concern Thursday that the settlement has not yet been finalized" (SI.com, 2/22). Wilken said her order could come "relatively soon." But she added that the order "wouldn't decide the entire case" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/21).