SBD/March 31, 2014/Colleges

Source: No Progress In O'Bannon-NCAA Mediation, Trial Expected This Summer

Two court-ordered mediation sessions this month between the NCAA and lawyers representing former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon "have gone nowhere," according to a source cited by Dan Wetzel of YAHOO SPORTS. That "increases the likelihood O'Bannon's potentially ground breaking class action lawsuit will go to trial this summer just as the NCAA is under assault from a variety of entities." The case currently is "scheduled to begin June 9 in United States District Court, Northern District of California." Judge Claudia Wilken earlier this month "ordered both sides to mediate their differences over how the college sports business model works or risk a court decision that could leave one, or both, sides unhappy as a legal solution is found for what is essentially the operation of a complex multi-billion dollar business." The source said that lawyers for both sides "met each of the last two Mondays" with a mediator in S.F., yet "little was accomplished and almost nothing substantive was even discussed." Wetzel: "Not surprisingly, the NCAA appears unwilling to bend on its stance of defending amateurism and its current business practices. It has taken a hardline approach throughout this case" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/28).
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