In a sign that the
Although NCAA officials have said that signing the names-and-likeness form was not mandatory for eligibility, it has come under debate during a class-action lawsuit that is currently in federal court. Former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon is among the lead plaintiffs who are seeking to end the prohibition of student-athletes' ability to profit from their names, images and likenesses.
College athletes signing the names-and-likeness form were essentially giving permission to their university, conference or a third party, such as an event organizer, to use their names and images for promotion without compensation.
"The removal is one further illustration of a continuing march by the NCAA to withdraw from the positions they staunchly have been defending," Michael Hausfeld, lead attorney for plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit, told USA Today. "If these things can be so easily removed, then it appears they had little to any validity in the first instance."
The USA Today report cites excerpts from trial depositions in which
In an email obtained by USA Today, the NCAA gives a few reasons, including compliance issues, for removing the names-and-likeness form from the documents to be signed by student-athletes. The email also said the removal of the form "has been necessary to enable appropriate review, including legal review, of the change to this year's form."