Thursday, 9 May 2013

O'Bannon Case Update: Discovery

The O'Bannon v NCAA case crawls along.  Presently the courts are trying to determine the scope of discovery leading up to the trial itself.  There was a hearing yesterday (May 8th) in San Francisco before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins, in part, to determine from whom the plaintiffs would be allowed to take depositions.  This is an important step in the process as the case heads progresses towards the June 20th hearing before U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilkins on class certification.

In terms of depositions, Judge Cousins decided that:

The plaintiffs MAY depose:

1. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany
2. Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone
3. Frenso State president John Welty

At this time, the plaintiffs MAY NOT depose:

1. Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds
2. Missouri Valley commissioner Doug Elgin
3. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby
4. NCAA managing director of research Todd Petr.

For a detailed report on yesterday's proceedings, and comments from both sides, you can read the excellent piece by Steve Berkowitz of USA Today here.

Additionally, Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News write about the fact that a former EA Sports employee admitted in his deposition that the programmers absolutely tried to replicate college players.......conflicting an initial defense offered by the NCAA.  In his story, which can be read here, Solomon says:

"Jeremy Strauser, who worked at EA from 1995 until 2011, testified last December that computer-game avatars were linked to specific player identifying numbers and biographical information, such as team depth charts, was used to make the game realistic.  "We generally tried to make the players perform as their real life counterparts, short of their name and likeness," Strauser testified."

Stay tuned.....

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