No one will accuse former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon of not being afraid to speak his mind or go for what he wants. On Friday, he took to the witness stand in his lawsuit against the NCAA and he didn’t mince words when on the stand either.
O’Bannon instead decided to take a stand on…Little League baseball of all things. According to an AP report (via ESPN.com), O’Bannon believes that Little Leaguers deserved to be paid because their games are televised.
“The big thing to understand is how much is being brought in,” O’Bannon said. “When the pie that is brought in is huge, I think it’s big enough for everyone to share a piece of that pie.”
Sure, ESPN pays millions of dollars to the Little League organization to air its Little League World Series, United States regional play and other events held by the organization. But, paying 12 or 13-year-old kids may be a step too far for many and for O’Bannon it may have been more about making his point loud and clear.
“There will be things I say and do that not everyone will agree with, like the Little League thing,” he said after his testimony, via SI.com. “But there are certain things you have to say to get your point across.”
Yet, it brings up an interesting point because if that were to happen at this point, any player who took part in the Little League World Series would be ineligible to participate in NCAA athletics.
Let’s not jump the gun though, as the O’Bannon trial is bound to have a profound impact on the future of the NCAA regardless of the outcome. This was but just one of many strange twists in a trial that will be full of them over the net few weeks.