Lawyers charge NCAA $50 million

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The bill has come in for former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon's successful court challenge of the NCAA -- and it's a whopper.

Lawyers for O'Bannon want more than $50 million from the NCAA in attorney fees and other costs as part of the price of winning an antitrust lawsuit that took five years to make its way to trial.

The proposed award means individual lawyers would end up with far more than the $5,000 a year the judge in the case ruled that football players in FBS schools and Division I men's basketball players could receive as compensation for the rights to their names, images and likenesses.

In a filing late Tuesday night, lead counsel Michael Hausfeld asked for payments of up to $985 an hour for senior attorneys in the case, including $15.5 million for his firm alone. Hausfeld said a total of 41 law firms were involved in the case and were owed a total of $50.2 million in pay and expenses.

Federal law allows for winning plaintiffs in civil suits to collect money from defendants for legal fees and expenses. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken will hold a hearing early next year before deciding how much the NCAA will have to pay in trial costs.

The NCAA is appealing the decision favoring O'Bannon in the three-week trial in June in Oakland.

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