It doesn’t take a sports nut to realize how prominent college athletics are in the United States. Whether its March Madness or BCS bowl season, amateur athletics enthralls the nation while pulling in billions of dollars worth of ticket sales, merchandise sales and TV deals. All the while, the student-athletes only receive compensation through a scholarship in the name of amateurism and integrity. However, this all may change depending on the ruling of a lawsuit filed against NCAA.
According to ESPN, “Six current college football players from major programs joined a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA on Thursday, significantly raising the stakes in a court battle that challenges the economic model of big-time college sports.
“The players are Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer and kicker Jake Smith, Vanderbilt linebacker Chase Garnham, Clemson cornerback Darius Robinson, and Minnesota tight end Moses Alipate and wide receiver Victor Keise.”
The six players have added their names to a 2009 lawsuit filed by Ed O’Bannon, a former UCLA basketball player who is suing the NCAA for licensing his likeness long after his eligibility expired.
“It accuses the NCAA of fixing at zero the amount that players can receive from video games and other products that use players' names, likenesses and images,” according to ESPN. “Last year, the plaintiffs amended their lawsuit, asking that current players be included and arguing that players deserve a share of the billions of dollars in television revenues that flow to the NCAA, conferences and member schools.”
Jake Fischer told ESPN, "Honestly, I stepped forward for the future well-being, safety and health of student-athletes. We have both met a ton of people since we've been here who have lingering effects from injuries, not getting a great education, not having all the capabilities or the opportunities that a regular student would have, and honestly, we would just like to try to fix that."
Other college athletes not involved in the lawsuit directly are supporting the players efforts, such as Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, who tweeted Friday afternoon, “Everyone support the six college athletes that joined the O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA to support us all.”