Six college football players – Arizona MLB Jake Fischer, Arizona K Jake Smith, Clemson CB Darius Robinson, Vanderbilt MLB Chase Garnham, Minnesota WR Victor Keise and Minnesota TE Moses Alipate – have been added as plaintiffs to the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, after receiving pithy assurance the NCAA would not retaliate. Adding the current players is crucial because it allows a judge to approve a class-action lawsuit. That could potentially bring the billions in current broadcast revenue into play.
Jake Fischer, honorable mention All Pac 12, told ESPN why he joined the suit.
“Honestly, I stepped forward for the future well-being, safety and health of student-athletes,” Fischer said. “We have both met a ton of people since we’ve been here who have lingering effects from injuries, not getting a great education, not having all the capabilities or the opportunities that a regular student would have, and honestly, we would just like to try to fix that.”
Clemson’s Darius Robinson described to SI what it was like to be “in the game,” literally.
“That’s me all the way,” Robinson said in an interview Thursday night after attorneys filed an amended complaintto the case, which is being tried in federal court in the Northern District of California. It’s Robinson all right — for better and for worse. “It’s as close as it gets,” he said. “Size, ratings. I don’t have the best hands as a corner, so I always drop interceptions on the video game.” And does he occasionally drop interceptions in real life? “Sometimes,” Robinson said with a laugh. “I’m not going to lie.”
One curious decision is that the players are all entering their final years of eligibility. All six will have finished by the time the case would reach a courtroom in 2014.
The question now becomes whether the NCAA reaches the inevitable “Olympic Model” decision, lifting restrictions on income athletes can generate outside of sports, through settlement or through years of protracted legal wrangling followed by a settlement.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]