NCAA writes letter regarding addition of current athlete to O’Bannon lawsuit
With the ruling that the plaintiffs in the case of Ed O’Bannon vs. the NCAA, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company would be best served to add a current student-athlete to its case, representatives stated that they would need the NCAA to guarantee that the student-athlete would not be punished for their participation.
Earlier this week the NCAA responded in a letter to Michael D. Hausfeld of Hausfeld LLP (lead lawyer for the plaintiffs), vehemently denying the assertion that a current student-athlete would be unfairly punished for joining the lawsuit.
The full letter can be read here.
The future status of the current student-athlete(s) has been a concern since U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken made the ruling that the plaintiffs would be allowed to make the addition before she decides whether or not the suit will receive class action certification.
But while the NCAA stated that it would not act in a malicious manner towards a current student-athlete that joins the suit, they did close the letter to Hausfeld with the following paragraph:
Essentially it’s the “well we won’t do anything, but if one of our members were to then that’s something you’d need to take up with them” angle. How much of an impact will that have on a current student-athlete’s willingness to join the lawsuit is the next question that will be asked in determining whether or not the plaintiffs can make the addition.
Ultimately Judge Wilken will make the decision as to whether or not this case should receive class action certification, with the plaintiffs hoping that she’ll grant the request.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.