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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Ed O'Bannon knows it's not over, far from it. He's ready for the appeals, and welcomes a challenge to the ruling that could change big-time collegesports forever.

After five years of battling the NCAA, O'Bannon isn't about to back away from the fight. Not when he is such a believer in the cause.

"You want to go to the Supreme Court, let's go," O'Bannon said in an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday. "I've got my ticket already."

The former UCLA basketball star and face of the lawsuit that has shaken the NCAA to its core could have been out celebrating Saturday, a day after a federal judge issued an injunction paving the way for future college football and basketball players to receive payments for service to their schools.

Instead, he was headed back to the auto dealership in a suburb, where he sells cars, happy that other players will get the benefits he and his teammates on the 1995 national championship team never did.

"This means a lot to me because I know what potentially the college athlete is set to receive now," O'Bannon said. "I get it because I lived it."

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken on Friday shot down the NCAA's arguments that its model of amateurism was the only way to run college sports. She said the NCAA had to allow football players in FBS schools and Division I men's basketball players at least $5,000 a year for rights to their names, images and likenesses, money that would be put in a trust fund and given to them when they leave school. Legal experts and NCAA observers agreed the ruling would not cripple to the NCAA. "I think O'Bannon wins in the sense that the judge sided with him on antitrust malices for the most part," said Michael Mc-Cann, director of the sports and entertainment law center at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. "But it's not the slam dunk victory that will radically change college sports the way some critics of the NCAA were hoping."

The ruling did leave college administrators pondering its potential ramifications and how they might go about implementing such a compensation system.

RELATED: Opinion: O'Bannon Decision Not a Total Loss for NCAA

"It goes on the list of items that will need to be part of our budget projections," SMU athletic director Rick Hart said. "As we prioritize how we allocate resources we'll try to get a better feel of what this will represent."

 

August 11, 2014

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