Clemson CB Darius Robinson joins O'Bannon-NCAA lawsuit

Clemson's Darius Robinson warms up during a spring football practice in Clemson. He recently joined the O'Bannon-NCAA lawsuit, as one of six current college players in it.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Darius Robinson warms up during a spring football practice in Clemson. He recently joined the O'Bannon-NCAA lawsuit, as one of six current college players in it.

By now, you've heard something about the lawsuit that could very well shake up the NCAA.

Clemson senior cornerback Darius Robinson is one of six current college football players who is now a part of it.

In the next step in the case, former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon's counsel, which is bringing an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA for the use of players' names and images, needed to identify current college athletes on their side for certification in a California federal court, per AL.com.

Per the site, the damages sought include "a 50-50 split of television revenue, saying money generated by the licensing and sale of class members' names temporarily can be held in trust until their college career ends."

If it turns into a class action suit, "billions of dollars in damages" could be at stake for the NCAA.

O'Bannon's counsel has already assured that the players involved won't get any sort of NCAA "retaliation" for being involved.

Robinson told SI.com that he joined the lawsuit after Clemson's compliance shut down his ties to a marketing company, citing NCAA rules that prohibited his name as a college athlete being on it.

The NCAA already took a step towards staying out of battles like this earlier this week by parting ways with EA Sports on its NCAA Football video game series going forward. Robinson's likeness being used for profit in the latest version only helped him join the cause.

"That's me all the way," Robinson told SI. "It's as close as it gets. Size, ratings. I don't have the best hands as a corner, so I always drop interceptions on the video game."

The timing, heading into fall camp soon, isn't the best, but he says it won't be a distraction.

"It's something that I really believe in," he said. "But at the same time, I'm still focused on this upcoming season."

He joins Vanderbilt senior linebacker Chase Garnham; Arizona senior linebacker Jake Fischer and senior kicker Jake Smith; Minnesota senior tight end Moses Alipate and Minnesota senior wide receiver Victor Keise.

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Comments » 5

rsb8931#286014 writes:

In what regard did the NCAA use their names? Who has ever heard of any of these guys to start with? What are they trying to win? Money? Never heard of any of the players and never heard of what ever it is they are talking about. I guess I should wish them good luck or not. I don't know enough about what you are talking about to even write a coherent comment on it. Who are these people and what do they want?

BrandonRink writes:

in response to rsb8931#286014:

In what regard did the NCAA use their names? Who has ever heard of any of these guys to start with? What are they trying to win? Money? Never heard of any of the players and never heard of what ever it is they are talking about. I guess I should wish them good luck or not. I don't know enough about what you are talking about to even write a coherent comment on it. Who are these people and what do they want?

It's a case that's been around since for several years now, but the crux of it is the NCAA is profiting off the likeness of its players, while the players can't do the same. Here's a pretty good explanation: http://www.sbnation.com/college-footb...

clmtgr92 writes:

in response to BrandonRink:

It's a case that's been around since for several years now, but the crux of it is the NCAA is profiting off the likeness of its players, while the players can't do the same. Here's a pretty good explanation: http://www.sbnation.com/college-footb...

I would agree if it were CJ Spiller, Nuk, Sammy, Tahj, etc. joining the lawsuit, since they were marquee players and would be highlighted in the video games. But let's be honest about Mr. Robinson's involvement, he must just now realize he has no chance at the NFL and is looking for an easy payout. How many NCAA '13 or NCAA '14 game players are going to stack their secondaries with a guy like him? How much is an image of a bench player really worth over the free education and athletic perks he has already received?

TrevorT writes:

in response to clmtgr92:

I would agree if it were CJ Spiller, Nuk, Sammy, Tahj, etc. joining the lawsuit, since they were marquee players and would be highlighted in the video games. But let's be honest about Mr. Robinson's involvement, he must just now realize he has no chance at the NFL and is looking for an easy payout. How many NCAA '13 or NCAA '14 game players are going to stack their secondaries with a guy like him? How much is an image of a bench player really worth over the free education and athletic perks he has already received?

excellent point.

Jamaha writes:

in response to clmtgr92:

I would agree if it were CJ Spiller, Nuk, Sammy, Tahj, etc. joining the lawsuit, since they were marquee players and would be highlighted in the video games. But let's be honest about Mr. Robinson's involvement, he must just now realize he has no chance at the NFL and is looking for an easy payout. How many NCAA '13 or NCAA '14 game players are going to stack their secondaries with a guy like him? How much is an image of a bench player really worth over the free education and athletic perks he has already received?

The SI article linked has a convincing account of the situation that led Darius to become involved in the lawsuit. Basically, he wanted to start a business, but was advised not to, because he's not allowed to profit from his own name or likeness, even though the NCAA is. Whether he's a marquee player or not is immaterial. If the NCAA or Collegiate Licensing Company is allowed to use his name and image to make a buck, shouldn't he be able to as well?

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