Ed O'Bannon: Little Leaguers on TV should be paid, too

Friday June 13th, 2014

Ed O'Bannon played two NBA seasons after his time at UCLA. (Brad Mangin/Getty Images) Ed O'Bannon played two NBA seasons after his time at UCLA. (Brad Mangin/Getty Images)

Ed O'Bannon, who brought a lawsuit against the NCAA fighting for payment of college athletes, was on the witness stand in California, and the 41-year-old, who won a national basketball championship with UCLA, took things even further than college athletes.

He said Little Leaguers should be paid if they bring in money for television networks that air their games, according to an Associated Press report on Friday.

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"The big thing to understand is how much is being brought in," O'Bannon said. "When the pie that is brought in is huge I think it's big enough for everyone to share a piece of that pie."

O'Bannon is arguing that everyone is getting rich off big TV deals with the NCAA — the networks, the leagues, coaches, schools — just not the players.

"There will be things I say and do that not everyone will agree with, like the Little League thing," he said after his testimony. "But there are certain things you have to say to get your point across."

ESPN pays millions to broadcast the Little League World Series, the AP reports, but unlike the NCAA there are no rules in place banning extra benefits, such as ice cream or a hotdog after the game.

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