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SBD/June 18, 2014/Colleges
NCAA Dealt Another Blow In O'Bannon Trial During Cross-Examination Of UT's Plonsky
Published June 18, 2014
EASY PICKINGS: In N.Y., Ben Strauss notes Plonsky’s appearance represented "a turning point in the trial’s narrative: The plaintiffs have called most of their witnesses, and now the NCAA is having its turn" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/18). SI.com's Andy Staples wrote by calling Plonsky as a witness, the NCAA legal team "served the plaintiffs a hanging curveball that their attorneys clubbed." Plonsky's presence on the stand gave the plaintiffs' attorneys "an opportunity to easily introduce evidence that proved NCAA and school officials have long been worried about the athlete name, image and likeness market that the NCAA's legal team is now claiming doesn't exist" (SI.com, 6/17).
SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE: In Pittsburgh, J. Brady McCollough noted Vanderbilt LB Chase Garnham on Monday took the stand to discuss "the one time he decided to question exactly what he was signing" when agreeing to NCAA Form 13-3a, the "Student-Athlete Statement." Garnham said, "Senior year when I read this form, my views had changed. I did not feel comfortable signing this form." He "chose to instead talk to" Vanderbilt AD David Williams and Compliance Dir Candice Lee "about his options." McCollough wrote it is "important for the plaintiffs' case to show that, by spending 40-hour weeks playing their sport, they were essentially employees who were given full scholarships in exchange for the university's use of their athletic gifts." Staurowsky on Monday testified that the term "student-athlete" was "simply an invention by then-NCAA president Walter Byers in the 1950s to protect the organization against workers compensation liabilities." NCAA attorney Carolyn Luedtke "ended her cross-examination by stating that Garnham had gotten four years of education at Vanderbilt for a total of about $200,000." Garnham had said earlier, "Vanderbilt brought me value, I brought them value. The only difference is that Vanderbilt was able to capitalize off that value, and I was not" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 6/17).