The National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) profits handsomely from the increasingly lucrative collegiate licensing and merchandising market— estimated to be worth $4 billion annually. Yet, current and former NCAA athletes do not share in these licensing fees. Two ways that the NCAA has accomplished this arguably unfair result are by requiring NCAA athletes to sign away their licensing rights, and by refraining from licensing players’ names to popular products such as video games. However, all of that may change as a result of related class action lawsuits filed by former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller and former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon.
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