|ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation||[Print without images]|
It's a massive decision: Because of the potential for a gargantuan payout in a class-action suit, the NCAA is not expected to fight if the case is certified, and would instead pursue a settlement, which would still likely be a considerable amount. On the flip-side, if the suit is not certified, it's unlikely that each of the athletes would pursue their cases individually. The case is now before Judge Vaughn Walker, the chief jurist for the San Francisco-Oakland Federal Court system, who's no stranger to high-profile litigation. [...] If he decides to certify the O'Bannon/Keller case as a class action, "the stakes for the NCAA increase exponentially," says John King, a partner at Washington, DC-based Hausfeld LLP, which is one of two firms representing the players.