OAKLAND (KCBS) — Whether or not college athletes should share in the billions of dollars they generate is at the heart of a trial underway in an Oakland federal courtroom Monday.
Former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon’s landmark antitrust class-action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association began Monday after nearly five years of litigation.
The lawsuit contends the NCAA illegally profits from the commercial use of former student athletes’ images in video games, DVDs, photos, jerseys and other merchandise and doesn’t share any of the proceeds with former athletes.
O’Bannon, the lead plaintiff in the suit, said his goal at UCLA wasn’t to get a degree, but to get two years of college experience before being drafted into the NBA.
He helped his team earn a national championship in 1995, and was a tournament MVP. He played two years professionally for the New Jersey Nets and for another eight years overseas, mostly in Europe. Now at 41, he sells Toyotas in Las Vegas.