Jun 11, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; An NCAA logo flag at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

NIL pioneer Ed O’Bannon: ‘My job is done’

Former UCLA basketball standout Ed O’Bannon started the battle to allow student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness when he sued the NCAA in 2009.

On Thursday, he credited LeBron James and others for helping to finish the job.

In a first-person account published in the Los Angeles Times, O’Bannon said it was an episode of James’ show, “The Shop,” in October 2019 that helped student-athletes earn the right to receive compensation. The NCAA dropped its amateurism roadblocks to clear the way for NIL deals to begin Thursday.

The movement in other states and with the NCAA was triggered in part when California Gov. Gavin Newsom, surrounded by James, WNBA star Diana Taurasi and O’Bannon, signed the state’s Fair Pay to Play Act, making California the first state to enact such a law after O’Bannon’s successful lawsuit.

“In the years after the trial, it almost felt like we were on a treadmill, kind of running in place, and I just felt like a huge part of the turn was LeBron. Once he voiced his opinion about the lawsuit and the whole situation, it was a turning point,” O’Bannon said. “He didn’t have to because he had nothing to do with college, went directly from high school to the NBA. My face was on this issue, but he put a more familiar face and obviously a bigger name to the situation. The fact he lent himself to what we were trying to accomplish was gigantic.”

Now 48, O’Bannon is long removed from his playing days and is working as a juvenile probation officer in Clark County, Nev. He said he doesn’t want credit for student-athletes receiving the right to profit off their names.

“I know people are excited for college athletes to be able to use their NILs. I’ll keep up, check them out and see what they’re doing, but again, my job is done,” he said. “I don’t want to be a part of it. There’s no big celebration planned, any of that stuff. It’s their lives, and whether they know what we did prior to them getting their contracts makes no difference to me. I will watch from a distance. I just hope everybody is happy.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Vanderbilt +1 -107

Hawaii -1 -107

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Duquesne

Florida State

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Florida A&M

North Carolina

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Wyoming +8.5 -110

Illinois -8.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Nebraska -10.5 -107

Northwestern +10.5 -107

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

UCONN +29.5 -110

Utah State (24) -29.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Nevada -16.5 -110

New Mexico State +16.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Austin Peay

WKU

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Charlotte +5.5 -110

Florida Atlantic -5.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

North Texas -4 -107

UTEP +4 -107

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Northern Arizona

Arizona State

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Central Michigan +19 -110

Oklahoma State (7) -19 -110

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

West Virginia +7.5 -107

Pittsburgh (13) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

VMI

Wake Forest (15)

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

New Mexico State +37.5 -107

Minnesota -37.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Penn State -3.5 -107

Purdue +3.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Cal Poly

Fresno State

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

St. Francis-PA

Akron

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

South Carolina State

UCF

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Bryant

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Alabama A&M

UAB

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Ball State +27.5 -110

Tennessee -27.5 -110

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

LA Tech +16 -107

Missouri -16 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

TCU -9 -107

Colorado +9 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Temple +6.5 -107

Duke -6.5 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Virginia Tech -7.5 -107

Old Dominion +7.5 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Illinois +3.5 +103

Indiana -3.5 +103

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Western Michigan +20 -107

Michigan State (9) -20 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Eastern Kentucky

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

William & Mary

Charlotte

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee Tech

Kansas

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Oregon (22) +16.5 -107

Georgia (1) -16.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Arizona +10 -110

San Diego State (25) -10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Utah State (24) +31.5 -107

Alabama (2) -31.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Cincinnati (4) +7.5 -107

Arkansas (21) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Mercer

Auburn

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Utah (12) -1.5 -107

Florida +1.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Miami-OH +20 -110

Kentucky (18) -20 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Memphis +11.5 -107

Mississippi State -11.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Troy +21.5 -110

Ole Miss (11) -21.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Georgia State +11 -110

South Carolina -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Sam Houston State

Texas A&M

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Elon

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

UC Davis

California

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Boise State +2.5 -110

Oregon State -2.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Colgate

Stanford

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Bowling Green +3 -110

UCLA -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Rice +33.5 -107

USC -33.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Kent State +23.5 -110

Washington -23.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Idaho

Washington State

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Southeast Missouri State

Iowa State

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

South Dakota

Kansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

UTEP +39 -110

Oklahoma (10) -39 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Albany-NY

Baylor (5)

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +39 -110

Texas -39 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Murray State

Texas Tech

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Rutgers +9 -110

Boston College -9 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Bethune-Cookman

Miami-FL

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

NC State (20) -10 -110

East Carolina +10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

North Carolina -4 -110

Appalachian State +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Louisville -2.5 -110

Syracuse +2.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Richmond

Virginia

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

South Dakota State

Iowa (23)

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Buffalo +20.5 -110

Maryland -20.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Colorado State +30 -110

Michigan (3) -30 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

North Dakota

Nebraska

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Illinois State

Wisconsin

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Houston (17) -6.5 -110

UTSA +6.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Central Connecticut State

UCONN

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Massachusetts +31.5 -110

Tulane -31.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Army +3 -110

Coastal Carolina -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Northern Iowa

Air Force

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Maine

New Mexico

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Tulsa -2 -110

Wyoming +2 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

WKU -7 -105

Hawaii +7 -105

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Texas State +11 -110

Nevada -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Portland State

San Jose State

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Idaho State

UNLV

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Delaware

Navy

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

SMU -7.5 -110

North Texas +7.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

BYU (19) -13 -110

USF +13 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Liberty -4 -110

Southern Miss +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Middle Tennessee +4.5 -110

James Madison -4.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Morgan State

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Grambling State

Arkansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Florida Atlantic -1 -110

Ohio +1 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Nicholls State

South Alabama

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Eastern Illinois

NIU

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

LIU

Toledo

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Southeastern Louisiana

Louisiana-Lafayette (16)

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Norfolk State

Marshall

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Notre Dame (8) +13.5 -107

Ohio State (6) -13.5 -107

@