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Volume 23 No. 14
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Name, Image, Likeness timeline

2004

Jeremy Bloom v. NCAA and Regents of the University of Colorado

Jeremy Bloom wanted to play at Colorado and keep Olympic ski deals.
Photo: getty images
Jeremy Bloom wanted to play at Colorado and keep Olympic ski deals.
Photo: getty images
Jeremy Bloom wanted to play at Colorado and keep Olympic ski deals.
Photo: getty images

Case file: Bloom, a high school football and track star, was recruited to play football at Colorado University. He had competed in Olympic and professional World Cup skiing events, becoming the World Cup champion in freestyle moguls. He also had endorsement deals with ski equipment providers and Tommy Hilfiger. His attempts to retain those partnerships while playing college football were denied. 

2008

Jason White, et al. v. NCAA

Case file: Jason White, a former football player at Stanford, led a class-action lawsuit that challenged the NCAA’s restrictions on the monetary value of athletic scholarships. The suit argued that the formula, which consisted of tuition, mandatory fees, room, board, and required books, equaled less than the actual cost of attending college, as it did not include numerous other miscellaneous expenses. Under the settlement, schools were permitted to purchase health insurance for athletes. The NCAA also set up a $10 million fund from which past athletes could claim up to $500 for “career development expenses” and another $2,500 for “educational expenses.” 

2014

Sam Keller v. Electronic Arts

Keller
Keller
Keller

Case file: Former Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller led a class-action NIL-based lawsuit that resulted in co-defendants EA and the Collegiate Licensing Corp. reaching a $40 million settlement with approximately 25,000 athletes who appeared in college-themed basketball and football video games from 2003 to 2014. The NCAA also settled the case for $20 million.

 

 

2014

Edward O’Bannon, et al. v. NCAA; Electronic Arts; Collegiate Licensing Co. 

Case file: In July 2009, former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon filed a lawsuit over former players’ rights to compensation for use of their likeness. Five years later, the NCAA was found to have violated antitrust law by preventing players from licensing their public images. EA and CLC agreed to a $40 million settlement in the class-action lawsuits brought against them. The decision meant that as many as 100,000 current and former athletes who appeared in EA Sports basketball and football video games since 2003 could receive up to $4,000 each. Future student athletes were denied the possibility of deferred cash payments and received an injunction that bars the NCAA from using the names, images and likenesses of collegiate men’s football and basketball players without providing them with compensation.

Former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon sued the NCAA and EA Sports over likeness use.
Photo: getty images
Former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon sued the NCAA and EA Sports over likeness use.
Photo: getty images
Former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon sued the NCAA and EA Sports over likeness use.
Photo: getty images

2018

Martin Jenkins, et al. v. NCAA, et al.

Case file: Antitrust attorney Jeffrey Kessler filed a class action lawsuit against the NCAA, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC to eliminate the restrictions that limit athletes from being compensated. If a player is worth more to a school than the value of his full cost-of-attendance scholarship, he should be compensated as such, according to the complaint. The class-action lawsuit represented 53,748 FBS football players and Division I men’s and women’s basketball players who competed between March 2010 and March 2017. A federal judge granted approval to a $208 million settlement; payments will range from $5,000 to $7,500 for those who competed for four years.

2019

Alston, et al. v. NCAA, et al. 

Case file: Former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston said the NCAA, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC colluded and violated antitrust laws by limiting the value of an athletic scholarship at a level below the “full cost of attendance.” A federal judge in California ruled that the NCAA could not cap compensation to athletes related to education and that conferences and schools can provide additional “non-cash education-related benefits and academic awards.” Both sides have appealed the ruling. Student athletes are asking the appeals court to uphold the decision and grant a broader injunction allowing schools and conferences to also provide benefits not tied directly to education. The NCAA wants the injunction vacated and the decision overturned. A ruling is expected sometime in 2020.

Shawne Alston v. NCAA alleges collusion and antitrust violations in current rules.
Photo: getty images
Shawne Alston v. NCAA alleges collusion and antitrust violations in current rules.
Photo: getty images
Shawne Alston v. NCAA alleges collusion and antitrust violations in current rules.
Photo: getty images

Sept. 30: California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the Fair Pay to Play Act into law. Beginning in 2023, college athletes in California will be allowed to monetize their likeness, sign endorsement deals and hire agents.

Oct. 29: The NCAA announced that student athletes would be able to benefit from their name, image and likeness. “In the Association’s continuing efforts to support college athletes, the NCAA’s top governing board voted unanimously to permit students participating in athletics the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model,” the NCAA said in its official statement. Illinois House lawmakers called the announcement’s vagueness a “publicity stunt,” and took steps to follow California’s lead. A number of other states have pending or proposed legislation.