Former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon was outraged when he found out that a video game company was using his image without paying him a dime. So he filed a lawsuit.
And last week, a federal judge hearing his case issued a ruling that is poised to upset college athletics as we know it. The judge said athletes like O’Bannon are entitled to a share of the billions of dollars that their sports generate.
The decision comes in the wake of a decision from the NCAA itself that schools can pay stipends to athletes and loosen recruitment rules.
Does this mean college athletics are going pro? Is this the end of a highly commercialized system that critics say was masquerading as an educational enterprise? And what does it mean to the handful of schools in the Northeast with big Division One sports programs, like Boston College and the University of Connecticut?