After leaving UCLA without graduating, O?Bannon played two seasons in the National Basketball Association with the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks before spending seven seasons playing professionally in Europe. He currently lives in Nevada and works at a local car dealership.
Stanford economics professor Richard Noll also testified on the first day on behalf of the plaintiffs to illustrate the antitrust violations and financial growth of college athletics.
"Since NCAA rules prohibit payment to players, the money flows to lavish coach salaries, etc. It's called 'inefficient substitution,'" he said from the stand.
Noll, who will continue testifying today, said head football coaching salaries have increased over 500% and schools spend large sums of money on facilities in order to attract student athletes -- but the schools should just give the money directly to the players.
The case is just one in a series of cases that will have a hand in shaping the business of pro and college sports in the years to come. The football team at Northwestern University is currently waiting on approval from the National Labor Relations Board after it became the first team to vote to unionize in collegiate history last April.
Major League Baseball is preparing for a trial that challenges the nature of its television deals and the internet blackout of local teams that Comcast (CMCSA) and Direct TV (DTV) claim is collusion that forces fans to subscribe in order to watch their local teams.
Meanwhile, over in the National Football League, another class-action suit is working its way through the courts as hundreds of players are looking to hold the NFL accountable for knowing about the effects of head trauma but keeping that information from the players while continuing to allow them to play, even sending them out in the field numbed with painkillers.
At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
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