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O'Bannon takes stand in landmark NCAA lawsuit
NCAA Reform OBannon T Heal WEB
Former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon Jr. sits in his office in Henderson, Nev., in this Sept. 18, 2010, file photo. Five years after the former UCLA star filed his antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, it went to trial on Monday in a California courtroom. - photo by Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. — The battle to give top football and basketball players a cut of the billions of dollars flowing into college athletics began in earnest with former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon taking the stand in federal court to describe how he spent long hours working on his game and as few as possible on his grades. The lead plaintiff in a landmark antitrust suit against the NCAA said his goal at UCLA wasn't to get a degree, but to get two years of college experience before being drafted into the NBA. "I was an athlete masquerading as a student," O'Bannon said Monday. "I was there strictly to play basketball.