College football and basketball players could be in line for paydays worth thousands of dollars once they leave school after a landmark ruling Friday that may change the way the NCAA does business.
A federal judge ruled that the NCAA can't stop players from selling the rights to their names, images and likenesses, striking down NCAA regulations that prohibit them from getting anything other than scholarships and the cost of attendance at schools.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland, California, ruled in favor of former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon and 19 others in a lawsuit that challenged the NCAA's regulation of college athletics on antitrust grounds. The injunction she issued allows players at big schools to have money generated by television contracts put into a trust fund to pay them when they leave.
In a partial victory for the NCAA, though, Wilken said the body that governs college athletics could set a cap on the money paid to athletes, as long as it allows at least $5,000 per athlete per year of competition. Individual schools could offer less money, she said, but only if they don't unlawfully conspire among themselves to set those amounts.
That means FBS football players and Division I basketball players who are on rosters for four years could potentially get around $20,000 when they leave school. Wilken said she set the $5,000 annual threshold to balance the NCAA's fears about huge payments to players.
"The NCAA's witnesses stated that their concerns about student-athlete compensation would be minimized or negated if compensation was capped at a few thousand dollars per year," Wilken wrote.
The NCAA said it disagreed with the decision, but was still reviewing it.
But Sonny Vaccaro, the former athletic shoe representative who recruited O'Bannon to launch the suit, said it was a huge win for college athletes yet to come.
"The kids who are going to benefit from this are kids who don't even know what we did today," Vaccaro said. "It may only be $5,000 but it's $5,000 more than they get now."
O'Bannon issued a statement calling the decision "a game changer" and precisely what he was after when he joined the suit.
"I just wanted to right a wrong," O'Bannon said. "It is only fair that your own name, image and likeness belong to you, regardless of your definition of amateurism. Judge Wilken's ruling ensures that basic principle shall apply to all participants in college athletics."
The ruling comes after a five-year battle by O'Bannon and others on behalf of college athletes to receive a share of the billions of dollars generated by college athletics by huge television contracts. O'Bannon, who was MVP of the 1995 UCLA national championship basketball team, said he signed on as lead plaintiff after seeing his image in a video game authorized by the NCAA that he was not paid for.
Husker LB done: Nebraska middle linebacker Michael Rose will undergo knee surgery next week, making him the third key member of the defense in three days to be ruled out for the season.
Pelini announced Thursday that the Cornhuskers had lost nickel back Charles Jackson to a knee injury, and on Friday the Athletic Department announced that safety LeRoy Alexander would be suspended for the season.
Viking shot: Minneapolis police are investigating a shooting inside a downtown nightclub that injured multiple people, including a Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle.
KSTP-TV says the Minnesota Vikings released a statement saying Linval Joseph was shot in the calf. He was treated for a minor injury and released. The Vikings said Joseph was an innocent bystander.
Sharper faces hearing: A preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 16 for former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper on charges that he drugged and raped two women he met at a West Hollywood nightclub.
Arizona, which has charged Sharper in a similar case, wants to extradite him there for trial. He's also been investigated in Louisiana, Nevada and Florida. But in May authorities in Florida found insufficient evidence to pursue charges there.
Wie injured: Michelle Wie has a finger injury that forced her to withdraw from LPGA Championship next week at Monroe Golf Club and will sideline her at three to five weeks.
IMG Golf said Saturday that Wie has a stress reaction in a bone in her right index finger. The U.S. Women's Open champion withdrew from the Meijer LPGA Classic on Thursday in Michigan after playing nine holes in the first round.
Amateur final set: Kristen Gillman and Brooke Mackenzie Henderson won semifinal matches Saturday to advance to the 36-hole final in the U.S. Women's Amateur at Nassau Country Club.
The 16-year-old Gillman, Austin, Texas, beat 15-year-old Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, 4 and 3. Henderson, the 16-year-old Canadian who is No. 2 in the world amateur ranking, edged 16-year-old Hannah O'Sullivan of Paradise Valley, Arizona, 1 up.
IU tabs Moren: Indiana hired Teri Moren as its new women's basketball head coach Saturday.
Moren spent the last five seasons as Indiana State's head coach and led the Sycamores to their first 20-win season in eight years and played in the WNIT last season.
Penny returns: Right-hander Brad Penny was called up Saturday by the Miami Marlins, reuniting him with his former team and former catcher 10 years later.
The Marlins picked Penny to start the second game of a series against the Cincinnati Reds. He swapped roster spots with left-hander Edgar Olmos, who was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.