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NCAA to appeal O'Bannon ruling

David Butler II / USA TODAY Sports
NCAA president Mark Emmert's organization was dealt a loss last week in the O'Bannon case.

After five long years, former UCLA star Ed O'Bannon and his fellow plaintiffs have the ruling they sought against the NCAA.

The NCAA isn't giving up its fight in the case, though.

In what comes as no surprise, the NCAA announced on Sunday that it would be appealing the ruling of U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, who dealt the organization a massive blow in the antitrust case late last week.

"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," NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. "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.

"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 NCAA had long maintained it would fight the case until it prevailed, hinting of appeals all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

On Friday, Wilken ruled that the NCAA violated antitrust regulations by prohibiting student-athletes in FBS football and Division I men's basketball from being paid for their name, image and likeness. The judge issued an injunction against the organization that allowed for a trust to be created that would facilitate the sharing of licensing revenue for athletes.

The decision, in what is considered to be a landmark trial in college athletics, also sharply refuted the NCAA's definition of amateurism and various other core beliefs.

While it might be a somewhat muted victory for the O'Bannon side with a quick NCAA appeal hitting the books, the real winner in the case seems to be the lawyers' billable hours.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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