College Sports on Trial: Full coverage of the O' Bannon vs. NCAA antitrust suit

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.

Pretrial: One-man rebellion: Sonny Vaccaro takes on the NCAA

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.

Tweets by @BradyMcCollough
from O' Bannon vs. NCAA

Day 1: Face of O’Bannon lawsuit opens trial

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.

Day 2: Stanford professor labels NCAA ’a cartel’ 

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.

Day 3: Cash stream rolls right by the athletes

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.

Day 4: Former CBS boss backs up NCAA

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.

Day 5: If players are paid, balance is affected

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.

Day 6: Former player testifies about eligibility requirements

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. 

Day 7: Texas AD odd choice to testify

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.

Day 8: NCAA president Emmert will tout 'reforms'

Witnesses speculated that athletes being paid would alter the integration of academics and athletics. But it was just that -- speculation.

Day 9: NCAA president defends amateurism

Mark Emmert was on the witness stand Thursday to make a case for the continued survival of the status quo.

Day 10: Testimony bolsters plaintiffs’‍ position

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.

Day 12: NCAA’‍s fear is unfettered booster access

Dennis Muir, the NCAA's witness, admitted that all anybody is doing is speculating in regard to the future.

Day 13: Trafford's Vaccaro will not testify, stays in background

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.

Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse


Create a free PG account.
Already have an account?