From Court to Court: Basketball Legend Ed O’Bannon Scores Big Crowd at UCLA Law

Ed O'Bannon, who led the UCLA Bruins to the 1995 men's basketball national championship, visited UCLA Law on Feb. 14 to talk with students, faculty and other guests about his landmark antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, regarding pay for student-athletes.

The event coincided with the publication of O’Bannon’s book, Court Justice: The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA, which he co-wrote with Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann.

In a conversation moderated by Professor Steve Derian, who teaches sports law at UCLA Law, O'Bannon and McCann shared details about O’Bannon’s class action lawsuit over whether student-athletes should be compensated for use of their names, images or likenesses. O'Bannon also offered stories about his time as a student-athlete, weighed in on the future of the NCAA’s amateurism rules and opened up about his decision to tell his story in Court Justice.

The event was presented by several student groups: the Sports Law Federation and Intellectual Property Law Association, in conjunction with UCLA's Graduate Students Association.

McCann runs the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and covered O’Bannon's case for Sports Illustrated. Speaking with O’Bannon, he provided sharp analysis of the lawsuit, the NCAA's defenses and the viability of other antitrust challenges to the NCAA’s concept of amateurism.

After the lunchtime panel concluded, O'Bannon and McCann stuck around to speak informally with students, answer questions and sign copies of Court Justice.