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Hausfeld LLP Files Lawsuit Against The NCAA On Behalf of Former Student Athletes

San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC (July 21, 2009) – Hausfeld LLP today announced the filing of a federal class action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (the “NCAA”) on behalf of former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon and a class of thousands of former NCAA Division I men’s basketball and football players.

The Complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that the NCAA has illegally deprived former student-athletes from receiving any compensation for the use of their images and likenesses in numerous revenue-generating formats, including DVD sales and rentals, photograph sales, video games, “stock footage” clips sold to corporate advertisers, jersey and other apparel sales, and rebroadcasts of “classic” games.

Class representative Ed O’Bannon was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 1995 NCAA basketball tournament, in which he led his team to the national championship. Mr. O’Bannon’s image is currently utilized in numerous DVDs and photographs offered for sale and rental by the NCAA and its business partners, in stock footage available for sale to corporate advertisers, and in a basketball video-game licensed by the NCAA. Mr. O’Bannon’s games also appear on television as part of the rebroadcast of “classic” games.

“College sports has become a multi-billion dollar business due to thousands of former student-athletes like myself. I’m participating in this case to stand up on behalf of all former players who have been treated unfairly,” said Mr. O’Bannon. “It is not about personal gain for me, but a matter of basic fairness.”

The Complaint seeks injunctive relief that will enjoin the NCAA from its alleged anticompetitive practices and protect students in the future. Plaintiffs also seek damages for all those former Division I men’s basketball and football players whose images have been licensed or sold by Defendants, their co-conspirators, and/or their licensees in the last four years.

“No one has a right to own or control another persons’ image or likeness for eternity without providing fair compensation,” said Michael D. Hausfeld, Chairman of Hausfeld LLP. “Former student athletes should have a voice in how their own images or likenesses – once they are no longer students -- are used throughout their lifetime.”

Hausfeld LLP has retained Sonny Vaccaro, recognized as a long-time advocate for amateur athlete rights, as an unpaid consultant. “I’ve spent many years advocating for the rights of amateur athletes,” said Mr. Vaccaro. “I’m very pleased that a court will now have the opportunity to fairly examine issues about former student-athletes’ rights in merchandise that uses their images.”

Hausfeld LLP is joined by Boies Schiller & Flexner, LLP, Heins Mills & Olson, LLP, Zelle, Hofmann Voelbel & Mason, LLP and many other antitrust law firms, on the complaint.

About Hausfeld LLP
Mr. O’Bannon’s lead attorney, Michael Hausfeld, is Chairman of Washington, DC-based Hausfeld LLP, a global claimants’ law firm providing litigation service in the areas of antitrust/competition law, human rights violations, product liability, environmental law and securities fraud. Mr. Hausfeld is regarded as one of the world’s preeminent civil litigators and antitrust experts, and has recovered billions of dollars for his clients throughout the world in matters ranging from price fixing cartels to victims of forced and slave labor during and after World War II. Mr. Hausfeld also currently serves as counsel for numerous South African victims of the apartheid regime, alleging that the defendant multi-national corporations aided and abetted the commission of crimes against humanity by the security forces of the regime.

Mr. Hausfeld is joined in the complaint by antitrust attorneys Michael Lehmann, Megan Jones, Jon King, and Art Bailey, Jr., also of Hausfeld LLP.

In addition to the Washington office, the firm offers clients global access to justice with current operations in London, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco; and is establishing affiliations in multiple locations throughout Europe, Asia, South Africa, South America, Canada and Australia. For additional information about Hausfeld LLP and its services, please visit http://www.hausfeldllp.com or call 202.540.7200.

Media Contact

Brian Lustig
Lustig Communications for Hausfeld LLP
301.775.6203
brian@lustigcommunications.com

 

More information on this case: NCAA

Practice Areas: Antitrust / Competition