The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA
“Like Curt Flood and Oscar Robertson, who paved the way for free agency in sports, Ed O’Bannon decided there was a principle at stake… O’Bannon gave the movement to reform college sports…passion and purpose, animated by righteous indignation.” —Jeremy Schaap, ESPN journalist and New York Times bestselling author
In 2009, Ed O’Bannon, once a star for the 1995 NCAA Champion UCLA Bruins and a first-round NBA draft pick, thought he’d made peace with the NCAA’s exploitive system of “amateurism.” College athletes generated huge profits, yet—training nearly full-time, forced to tailor coursework around sports, often pawns in corrupt investigations—they saw little from those riches other than revocable scholarships and miniscule chances of going pro. Still, that was all in O’Bannon’s past…until he saw the video game NCAA Basketball 09. As avatars of their college selves—their likenesses, achievements, and playing styles—O’Bannon and his teammates were still making money for the NCAA. So, when asked to fight the system for players past, present, and future—and seeking no personal financial reward, but rather the chance to make college sports more fair—he agreed to be the face of what became a landmark class-action lawsuit.
Court Justice brings readers to the front lines of a critical battle in the long fight for players’ rights while also offering O’Bannon’s unique perspective on today’s NCAA recruiting scandals. From the basketball court to the court of law facing NCAA executives, athletic directors, and “expert” witnesses; and finally to his innovative ideas for reform, O’Bannon breaks down history’s most important victory yet against the inequitable model of multi-billion-dollar “amateur” sports.
O’Bannon, Ed; McCann, Michael