Supreme Court Declines To Hear NCAA Case Appeals
The Supreme Court will not hear the appeals from either side on the O'Bannon v. NCAA class action case regarding compensation for college athletes. This leaves in place a lower court ruling deeming that the college athletics association violated antitrust laws, but also the appeal to that ruling that prevents college athletes from being paid. Thus, college sports remains unchanged for the time being, and therefore so does the limbo status of video games based on college football in particular.
In 2014, U.S District judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the NCAA's laws forbidding college athletes from being compensated for use of their likeness violated antitrust laws. Last year the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Wilken's ruling regarding payments, but not the antitrust segment. Thus, both the O'Bannon side and the NCAA had reason to seek a Supreme Court ruling.
Previously, EA, makers of the NCAA franchise, and the Collegiate Licensing Company split from the O'Bannon lawsuit in a $60 million settlement with the plaintiffs.
Unfortunately for video game fans waiting for the return of the NCAA franchise, these kinds of legal wins and losses are exactly what must be settled before we see a return of the NCAA franchise or anything else. Even if everything were settled one way or another, there still could be significant complications – such as having to hash out deals with scores of licensors – that could make an NCAA title prohibitively expensive.