"What is similar in the two cases is: What rights do these kids have by this entity called the NCAA that makes a ton of money off of them? What's their status? Who gets to decide? Those are all themes that we created and we won on."
- Attorney Richard G. Johnson
While the O'Bannon class-action lawsuit against the NCAA is into its second week of being heard in a California courtroom, the basis for it came out of Ohio back in February 2009. Back then Oklahoma State pitcher, and Ohio native, Andrew Oliver sued the NCAA regarding their "agent rule". Oliver became the first student-athlete to defeat the NCAA in court when Erie County Common Pleas judge Tygh Tone ruled that the NCAA rule allowing players to hire a lawyer but prohibiting them to negotiate a contract was impossible to enforce and allowed for a player to be exploited.
Little did Oliver or Johnson know when they filed their lawsuit the impacts that it would have not only a few months from them, but also years down the road. Just five months later the lawyers for Ed O'Bannon filed their lawsuit against the NCAA over the commercial use of NCAA Division I football and men's basketball players' names, images, and likenesses. In the spring of 2009 Oliver's attorney met with the lead attorney for O'Bannon, Michael Hausfeld, to try and help Hausfeld gather information and ideas for O'Bannon's upcoming case. While Oliver and O'Bannon were suing the NCAA for different reasons, in the end it has come down to the rights of student-athletes, and it all started in an Ohio courtroom.
"I finally feel like we're there. There's so much hype in the wrestling program that, wow, Ohio State can win a national championship. That should be the norm."
- Ohio State wrestling coach Tom Ryan
With Logan Stieber having won three straight NCAA Division I wrestling championships, and aiming for a fourth next year, numbers have been revealed that Ohio State spends the fourth-most among Division I wrestling programs. Stieber now is trying become the fourth wrestler to win four national titles, but he isn't the only Buckeye wrestler that is doing the university proud on the mats. The amount of money that the university is committing to the wrestling program is showing dividends and bringing the attention and success to the program that the university and fans crave.
The only schools that sit ahead of Ohio State's $1,101,576 in spending are Iowa ($1,654,772), Penn State ($1,268.133), and Lehigh ($1,195,913). Not only does the Big Ten have three of the top four in terms of spending, but they also have three others in the top-ten. Illinois committed $1,064,161 to their program to sit in sixth place, while Wisconsin ($1,054,775), and Michigan ($1,050,959) sit just behind in seventh and eighth. Competition not only next year, but in the following years, in the Big Ten should be the best in the country, so it's no surprise to see these schools spending what they are to back their product.
"As long as I still have the drive and ambition and still want to go out and compete each day and win, as long as I want to win, I'm going to be out there playing."
- Former Ohio State DE, and current member of the New England Patriots, Will Smith
With the toll that the NFL can take on the body, nobody would've blamed Will Smith if he decided to retire after the Saints cut him back in February. Smith was scheduled to make $11.55 million dollars from the New Orleans this coming year, and had already won a Super Bowl and made a Pro Bowl. But the love of the game has kept Smith going as he has been working to recover from a torn ACL that he suffered last year.
The Patriots have taken a chance on Smith, but it doesn't come at much of a cost. If the Patriots decide that Smith isn't worthy of a roster spot they only owe him a $15,000 workout bonus. If Smith does impress enough during the offseason he'll make the veteran minimum of $855.000 plus a $50,000 bonus for making the team. It was almost a no-brainer for the Patriots to bring in a guy that has amassed 67.5 sacks over his NFL career. Smith says that he is recovering well from his torn ACL, and the chance to join a team that is continually in the mix to make the Super Bowl must only boost his recovery from injury.
"It's been awesome. I've had a chance to meet with players that I've looked up to, I've been signing authographs and on Monday I got to play with Paula Creamer. It's been a great week."
- Ohio State golfer Jessica Porvasnik
Martin Kaymer may have blown away the field at Pinehurst No. 2 last week, but this week a current Ohio State women's golfer will be looking to do the same. At 18 years old, Porvasnik is one of 19 teenagers that made the Women's US Open field through sectional qualifying. 156 golfers tee off today in Pinehurst, North Carolina, and Porvasnik is one of 25 amateurs that will be trying to tame the tough course.
Not only will Porvasnik be trying to make the cut and play on the weekend in North Carolina, but she'll have a familiar face caddying for her. Ohio State assistant coach Lisa Storm will be trying to help Porvasnik navigate the course. Storm is no stranger to the demands of the LPGA Tour, as she turned pro in 2000 and has played in over 50 LPGA events. While Porvasnik will be playing with the pros this weekend, she just finished up her freshman season at Ohio State, helping her team to claim the women's Big Ten golf championship.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- Jim Tressel had his contract approved by the Youngstown State University trustees
- Have kids and looking to find something for them to do on Sunday? Check out the Columbus Children's Festival at Fred Beekman Park. Not only is it free to enter, but they could be instructed by some of Columbus' professional athletes.
- Urban Meyer recently welcomed a former Gator and current WWE star to Columbus for a visit. No word on how many stunners that Urban 3:16 doled out.
- With Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter last night, Vin Scully has now called seven percent of MLB no-hitters.
- Some improvements could be on the way for a section of North 4th Street.
- Chile really loves them some soccer. Look at how they celebrated their win to eliminate Spain in the group stage.