Big Ten officials address O'Bannon case

BY DANNY PAYNE | JUNE 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Big Ten presidents and  chancellors weighed in on the O’Bannon trial Tuesday. Led by University of Iowa President and head of Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors Sally Mason, the council put forth a four-point plan outlining its stance.

Ed O’Bannon v. NCAA is a court case in which a group of former and current football and men’s basketball players, headed by former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon, aims to receive compensation for the NCAA’s use of their names, images, and/or likenesses. They claim the NCAA rules violates antitrust law.

The council’s first point was that the 14 universities in the league will guarantee four-year scholarships. Regardless if the student-athlete competes or not, the scholarship is still valid. The second point was scholarships are lifetime guaranteed. This means that if a players leave before their four years are up, they can come back and finish their degrees at any point.

The council members said they want to provide better and consistent medical insurance for student-athletes.

The final goal is to cover the full cost of college, not only part of it. This means to cover the full cost, as defined by the federal government, which is designed to pay for all aspects of college.

While Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney is not a member of the council, he said he agrees with the four points and would like to move onto the next steps to getting them implemented.

He said these steps involve bringing the motion through the NCAA voting process, which Delaney hopes would take place in early 2015.

“Generally, everyone is supportive,” Delaney said in an interview with the Big Ten Network Tuesday. “The devil is often in the details, but I think there is a lot of momentum to not only change the outcome for 21st-century student-athletes but also affect the narrative.”

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