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NCAA announces they'll appeal favorable O'Bannon ruling

The NCAA will appeal what was widely considered a favorable ruling in the O'Bannon case.

Jamie Squire

The NCAA can't seem to know when they're ahead.

Despite an extremely favorable ruling in "losing" the O'Bannon case, NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy announced in a press release Sunday morning that the organization will be appealing Judge Wilken's could've-been-far-worse decision:

We remain confident that the NCAA has not violated the antitrust laws and intend to appeal. We will also be seeking clarity from the District Court on some details of its ruling.

It should be noted that the Court supported several of the NCAA's positions, and we share a commitment to better support student-athletes. For more than three years, we've been working to improve the college experience for the more than 460,000 student-athletes across all three divisions. On Thursday, the Division I Board of Directors passed a new governance model allowing schools to better support student-athletes, including covering the full cost of attendance, one of the central components of the injunction. The Court also agreed that the integration of academics and athletics is important and supported by NCAA rules.

Further, the Court rejected the plaintiffs' claims that the NCAA licensed student-athletes' names, images and likenesses to EA Sports or anyone else. It also rejected the plaintiffs' proposed model where athletes could directly market their names, images and likenesses while in college.

We look forward to presenting our arguments on appeal, and in the meantime we will continue to champion student-athlete success on the field and in the classroom.

The hypothesis had been prior to the actual ruling that the NCAA would appeal should they lose, potentially win that appeal, and have the decision go all the way to the Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit Court of appeal overturns the second most decisions amongst any of the country's top appellate courts, but has also been criticized in the past for having a perceived liberal bent (which theoretically could be favorable to the plaintiff from a labor vantage). No new evidence will be able to be introduced, but the NCAA can claim that Judge Wilken allowed or didn't allow some things she should have.

SB Nation's Kevin Trahan wrote the following Saturday on what might be next:

The organization would like to bring this to the Supreme Court, argue that it needs football to pay for Title IX sports, and say that it is really broke when you consider all sports to be within the relevant market. There's not a great chance that will happen, though, and that's why the NCAA is looking for other options.