This is the first time a chal­lenge to the way the NCAA oper­ates has gotten this far. It is part of a broader effort to change the way major col­lege sports are oper­ated that includes sev­eral other law­suits chal­lenging var­ious NCAA reg­u­la­tions and a union­iza­tion effort that won a vote for foot­ball players at North­western ear­lier this year. Plain­tiffs and others claim that there is no real ama­teurism in a col­lege sports industry where coaches make mil­lions, admin­is­tra­tors are well paid and everyone profits except the ath­letes pro­viding the labor. “O’Bannon rep­re­sents a water­shed moment for the NCAA,” said North­eastern Uni­ver­sity School of Law pro­fessor Roger Abrams, an expert in sports and antitrust law. “When com­bined with the North­western foot­ball team union­iza­tion effort, the case raises the ques­tion whether the NCAA must totally re-​​conceptualize its approach to reg­u­lating col­lege athletics.”

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