When UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon saw his avatar used in an NCAA-branded video game for which he received no compensation, he decided to take action, and agreed to serve as lead plaintiff in a class action challenging NCAA rules prohibiting student-athletes from receiving a share of revenues earned from use of their names, images and likenesses. The suit alleged that the restrictions constitute an unreasonable restraint on trade in violation of antitrust laws.
On Thursday, the NCAA Board of Directors voted to allow Notre Dame and the top five conferences in Division I - Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-12 and Southeastern Conferences (collectively known as the “Big 5”), to create their own rules in the following 11 areas affecting student athletes (the “Autonomy Measures”):
- Athletics Personnel;
- Insurance and Career Transition;
- Career Pursuits Unrelated to Athletics;
- Recruiting Restrictions;
- Pre-Enrollment Expenses and Support;
- Financial Aid;
- Awards, Benefits and Expenses;
- Academic Support;
- Health and Wellness;
- Meals and Nutrition; and
- Time Demands.
The Sports, Arts & Entertainment group at Foster Garvey provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.