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The decision from O’Bannon v. NCAA, in which collegiate athletes were seeking compensation after the NCAA allowed video game developers to use collegiate athletes’ names, images, and likenesses without the athletes’ consent, marks the first time a Federal Court of Appeals has upheld a trial court’s ruling finding that NCAA compensation rules violate antitrust law for being an unlawful restraint on trade.  However, the Court of Appeals reversed the damages awarded by the trial court, finding that full-cost-of-attendance scholarships constituted adequate compensation for the use of the collegiate athletes’ NILs in video games.  For now the O’Bannon decision protects the NCAA’s model of amateurism, but an upcoming case, Jenkins v. NCAA, led by Jeffery Kessler, a well known sports-law and antitrust lawyer, is seeking to abolish the NCAA compensation laws altogether.

By: Greg Sechrist

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