The NCAA said Sunday morning it will appeal last week's ruling on the Ed O'Bannon images and likenesses lawsuit.
Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer, said in a statement the Association remains confident that the NCAA has not violated the antitrust laws and intend to appeal. We will also be seeking clarity from the District Court on some details of its ruling.
On Friday, a federal judge ruled that NCAA limits on what major college football and men's basketball players can receive for playing unreasonably restrain trade in violation of antitrust laws.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, in a 99-page ruling in favor of a group of plaintiffs led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, issued an injunction that will prevent the NCAA from enforcing any rules or bylaws that would prohibit its member schools and conferences from offering their FBS football or Division I basketball recruits a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images, and likenesses in addition to a full grant-in-aid.
The NCAA has a right to appeal, but there comes a time when any rational person has to come to the conclusion that it's time to cut your losses and be accountable for your wrongs, said Michael Hausfeld, the plaintiffs' lead attorney.
Although Wilken's ruling could enable football and men's basketball players to receive more from schools than they currently receive, Wilken imposed some limits and rejected the plaintiffs' proposal that athletes be allowed to receive money for endorsements. Allowing student-athletes to endorse commercial products would undermine the efforts of both the NCAA and its member schools to protect against the 'commercial exploitation' of student-athletes, she wrote.
Wilken said the injunction will not be stayed pending any appeal of her ruling, but it will not take effect until the start of the next Football Bowl Subdivision and Division I basketball recruiting cycles. At the earliest, the first group of recruits to be affected by the ruling likely would be those entering school in 2016.
NCAA President Emmert told ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos that college sports' largest governing body found a lot in the decision that was admirable and some parts they disagreed with so strongly that they could not let it go unchallenged in court.
Yes, at least in part we will, Emmert said when asked whether the NCAA planned an appeal. No one on our legal team or the college conferences' legal teams think this is a violation of antitrust laws and we need to get that settled in the courts.
The complete statement from Remy:
We remain confident that the NCAA has not violated the antitrust laws and intend to appeal. We will also be seeking clarity from the District Court on some details of its ruling.
It should be noted that the Court supported several of the NCAA's positions, and we share a commitment to better support student-athletes. For more than three years, we've been working to improve the college experience for the more than 460,000 student-athletes across all three divisions. On Thursday, the Division I Board of Directors passed a new governance model allowing schools to better support student-athletes, including covering the full cost of attendance, one of the central components of the injunction. The Court also agreed that the integration of academics and athletics is important and supported by NCAA rules.
Further, the Court rejected the plaintiffs' claims that the NCAA licensed student-athletes' names, images and likenesses to EA Sports or anyone else. It also rejected the plaintiffs' proposed model where athletes could directly market their names, images and likenesses while in college.
We look forward to presenting our arguments on appeal, and in the meantime we will continue to champion student-athlete success on the field and in the classroom.
Contributing: The Associated Press