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Last updated on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
(UNDATED) - A trial seeking to open the door for college athletes to profit from their fame is underway in California.
20 ex-college athletes sued the NCAA five years ago, contending the Indianapolis-based organization is violating antitrust law by forcing players to sign over the legal rights to their likenesses.
Gary native Harry Flournoy was a forward on the Texas Western team which shattered college basketball's color line by winning the 1966 championship with an all-black starting five against a segregated Kentucky squad. Flournoy says he sees the suit as a second chance to be part of correcting an injustice. He says the NCAA reaps billions of dollars from DVD's, streaming video, and licensing rights for video games and trading cards, while the players don't see a penny.
Indianapolis basketball legend Oscar Robertson and Alex Gilbert , the center on the Larry Bird-led Indiana State team which went to the national championship game, are also part of the suit.
The NCAA has argued athletes receive compensation through their scholarships. Flournoy argues coaches and athletic directors have shown that's a hollow enticement by steering players into classes whose main purpose is to keep their grades high enough to maintain their eligibility.
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