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O’Bannon case to add one current athlete, but protect them from NCAA

Jul 8, 2013, 7:42 PM EDT

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Former UCLA player Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit against the NCAA seems to gain a little more steam, and a few more advocates, by the day. Those advocates apparently include current college basketball players. Or at least, they will.

O’Bannon’s lawyer said they will add a current player to the suit and has asked the NCAA not to take action on any player that enters into it, according to an article on al.com.

O’Bannon attorney Michael Hausfeld sent a letter to NCAA attorney Gregory Curtner requesting that the NCAA, on behalf of itself and its universities and conferences, to agree they will not take “any adverse action of retaliation, intimidation, or coercion, including loss of scholarship, eligibility, or playing time” against a current athlete.

Hausfeld and his team are in the processing of getting one current player’s name added to the lawsuit, in all likelihood to add some timely relevance to the case — it’s easier to bring in younger supporters when someone their age is involved. The article also explains that the lawsuit is meant to help current players being hurt by the NCAA and the other two defendants in the case, College Licensing Company and Electronic Arts Sports.

The stipulation offered by the plaintiffs asks the NCAA to agree that “participation in this litigation by a current student athlete does not violate any NCAA rule (spanning the constitution, operating bylaws, and administrative bylaws) contained in the 2012-13 NCAA Division I manual or otherwise compromise a student athlete’s eligibility.”

The NCAA has until July 12 to execute the stipulation and make any changes to it they see fit. Though Hausfeld wrote that if the defendants chose not to enter in the stipulation, the plaintiffs must be informed so they can take action.

O’Bannon and his team have until July 19 to add one current athlete.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

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