The NCAA has made another attempt to delay the start of the Ed O’Bannon class-action antitrust trial, which is set to begin on June 9 in Oakland, Calif. Only a week after U.S. district judge Claudia Wilken rejected the NCAA’s remaining motions and maintained the case’s previously scheduled start date, the association has made another push to move the proceedings back. Via the initial report from USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz:
On Thursday, lawyers for the association -- in what they classified as an emergency petition -- asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to:
• Require district judge Claudia Wilken to vacate her order scheduling the O'Bannon antitrust trial to begin June 9.
• Issue its own order that the trial in the antitrust lawsuit be held no earlier than a trial in a related, but now separate lawsuit, concerning the depiction of athletes in video games. The video-games case, which involves plaintiffs led by former Arizona State and Nebraska football player Sam Keller, has been scheduled for late March 2015.
The O’Bannon v. the NCAA case surrounds the association’s use of student-athletes’ names, images and likenesses, while the Keller v. the NCAA case is more concerned with video-game revenue. However, the NCAA contends that the ultimate O’Bannon ruling -- which will be decided via a bench trial -- could shape jury members’ opinions in the Keller lawsuit.
Per Berkowitz, this is the NCAA’s fifth recent filing to delay the O’Bannon case.
This is the fifth filing the NCAA has made in the past five weeks that has sought to delay and/or redefine a case that is nearing trial almost five years after it began. One of the previous four motions also was made with the 9th Circuit, and a three-judge panel rejected it without comment.Michael Hausfield, the lead attorney for the O’Bannon plaintiffs, told USA Today that the NCAA’s bid was a “final grasp to avoid a trial before the court on June 9.” Hausfield added: “It also seems to reflect an attitude of the association that it can say whatever it wants to any court, as long as it doesn't say the same thing to the same court.”