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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The NCAA has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by former UCLA basketball standout Ed O'Bannon and other former student-athletes challenging the collegiate athletic association's ban on compensating athletes.
The lawsuit does not show the association's rules violate antitrust laws, the NCAA said in its motion filed Thursday with a federal court in Oakland. The NCAA also said the athletes' demand for revenue from the licensing of live broadcasts is pre-empted by the First Amendment right to televise newsworthy events.
O'Bannon and the other plaintiffs are demanding the NCAA find a way to give players a cut of the billions of dollars earned from live broadcasts, memorabilia and video games sales, and other revenue. Currently, college athletes cannot be compensated for use of their names, likenesses and images.
"The NCAA's rules do not force athletes who wish to be professionals to enroll in school," NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. "Instead, the plaintiffs seek to professionalize a few college athletes, which would lead to a reduction in athletic and educational opportunities for the vast majority of male and female student-athletes who pursue Division I, II and III athletics."
A call to an attorney for the plaintiffs, Michael Hausfeld, was not immediately returned.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, who is presiding over the case, denied class-action status last month to the plaintiffs. Class-action status could have potentially put the NCAA on the hook for billions of dollars in damages.
The suit originally named video-game maker Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company, but the plaintiffs and those companies reached settlements in September.