Federal appeals court won’t rehear ruling in O’Bannon case

Thursday December 17th, 2015

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has declined a request to fully rehear its ruling in the Ed O’Bannon v. NCAA antitrust class action lawsuit, USA Today reports.

The decision was announced Wednesday, as a three-judge panel ruled 2–1 against rehearing the case. The majority ruled that cash compensation for athletes for the use of their likenesses for commercial purposes would jeopardize their amateur status, according to an Associated Press report.

The plaintiffs asked for a group of 11 judges to reconsider the initial ruling, made by a panel of three judges in September, which declared that the NCAA is indeed in violation of antitrust laws, but that Division I football and basketball players are not in turn entitled to deferred compensation. 

The original lawsuit was filed against the NCAA by former UCLA player Ed O’Bannon, demanding that athletes receive up to $5,000 annually in payments.

“The NCAA is pleased with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denial of the plaintiffs’ en banc rehearing request,” NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. “As we said previously, the petition did not meet the standard required for a rehearing en banc.... As I suspect the plaintiffs’ counsel will explore next steps, so too will the NCAA.”

The parties must now decide whether to try and have the case heard by the Supreme Court, and have around 90 days to file.


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