The Post-Gazette’s J. Brady McCollough is in Oakland, Calif., for the duration of the class action lawsuit trial that could reaffirm — or fundamentally alter forever — college athletics as we know it.
Follow the testimony and developments from the genesis of the case to the verdict and its ramifications here.
Sonny Vaccaro has been obsessed for decades with redistributing the wealth he helped to create for the NCAA and giving it back to the athletes who wore the shoes and uniforms made by the companies he once championed.
Pretrial: NCAA antitrust suit going courtside
Big-time college sports are on trial. Finally. The games and traditions that fans and alums have loved for decades with undying loyalty will now be boiled down to the essence of what they've morphed into -- a business, one with real issues that won't be ignored any longer.
from O' Bannon vs. NCAA
Ed O'Bannon took the stand as the first plaintiffs witness. His attorney, Michael Hausfeld, set out to show that O'Bannon was not a "student-athlete" but an athlete "masquerading" as a student.
Roger Noll, the plaintiffs' expert witness, remained on the stand for the entire five hours Tuesday, finishing his direct testimony with Ed O'Bannon attorney Michael Hausfeld and going through two hours of cross-examination with NCAA attorney Rohit Singla.
Stanford economics professor emeritus Roger Noll, the plaintiffs' expert witness on antitrust theory, continued to be cross-examined by the NCAA for three hours. NCAA attorney Rohit Singla did not seem to make much progress in dispelling Noll's opinion that relevant markets exist for the licensing of players' names, images and likenesses.
Edwin Desser, the plaintiffs' expert witness on sports TV negotiations, testified that rights exist for names, images and likenesses in the licensing of games because there would be no contest without the players.
The plaintiffs' expert witness for sports economics, Dr. Daniel Rascher, said football and basketball would remain as popular, if not more, if players were compensated for their names, images and likenesses; competitive balance does not exist, so the change would be minimal; and Division I universities would compete more vigorously if restraints were lifted.
Former Vanderbilt linebacker Chase Garnham questioned having to sign a consent form that gave the school, the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA the chance to profit from his name, image and likeness.
Plaintiffs' attorney Bill Isaacson used Texas women's athletic director Christine Plonsky's involvement with a NCAA presidential task force that studied the use of athletes' names, images and likenesses to show that the organization had conspired to keep the restrictions in place even though it knew potential issues could arise.
Witnesses speculated that athletes being paid would alter the integration of academics and athletics. But it was just that -- speculation.
Mark Emmert was on the witness stand Thursday to make a case for the continued survival of the status quo.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany took the stand as a witness for the NCAA, telling the plaintiffs' attorneys exactly what they wanted to hear even before they cross-examined him.
Day 11: How the other half lives
Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky took the stand, providing a difference perspective than that of college sports’ upper class.
Dennis Muir, the NCAA's witness, admitted that all anybody is doing is speculating in regard to the future.
The NCAA continued to question survey expert witness John Dennis about the survey he conducted about whether the demand for major college football and basketball would change if players could profit from their names, images and likenesses.
Day 14: Antitrust issues surface
The NCAA is a joint venture, not a classic cartel, Daniel Rubinfeld said.
Day 15: Testimony ends
After five years of lead up and 15 long days, the case now goes to Judge Claudia Ann Wilken to render verdict.