Decision in O’Bannon v. NCAA Provides Right of Publicity Edge to the NCAA

By Jennifer E. Rothman
October 5, 2015

The Ninth Circuit’s decision last week upholding the application of antitrust laws to the NCAA, has several implications for student-athletes and their rights of publicity.  The appellate court’s holding that the NCAA could retain its rules requiring students to remain amateur means that student-athletes cannot receive compensation for uses of their names or likenesses, or other indicia of identity.  The decision does not prevent the NCAA or its member universities from making money from licensing students’ identities, nor does the decision address whether students can continue to be forced to assign such rights to their universities as a condition of playing collegiate sports.

Opinion in O'Bannon v. NCAA (9th Cir., Sept. 30, 2015)