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Athletes Win Another Round Against NCAA

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A federal judge refused to dismiss another class action from former college basketball and football players who claim the NCAA should allow athletes to be compensated for their names, images and likenesses.

In March, three football players and a basketball player sued the NCAA in a class action in New Jersey, alleging federal antitrust violations.

Lead plaintiff Martin Jenkins played football for Clemson.

As in similar cases against the NCAA, the athletes sought an injunction that would allow them to enter into their own licensing agreements.

The case was transferred to California's Northern District Court, where U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken has heard related cases against the NCAA.

The NCAA said in September that the action should be dismissed , based on how Judge Wilken ruled in the case from former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon.

Wilken in August issued an injunction against the NCAA, finding its rules prohibiting athletes from being compensated "unreasonably restrain trade in the market for educational athletic opportunities for Division I colleges and universities."

The NCAA argued in a Sept. 25 motion in opposition that that the plaintiffs in the case transferred from New Jersey "are entitled to no relief whatsoever" because they misinterpreted Wilken's ruling in O'Bannon.

"Although O'Bannon held that restraint to be unduly restrictive to a certain, limited extent, this court, consistent with prior federal court decisions endorsing NCAA limitations on payments to student-athletes, clearly rejected the premise on which the current complaints are founded - that any NCAA limit on payments to student-athletes constitutes an antitrust violation," Jeffrey A. Mishkin wrote for the NCAA in its Sept. 25 motion.

Attorneys argued their sides last week before Wilken, who rejected the NCAA's motion to dismiss without publishing the reasons for it.

Wilken set a case management conference for 2 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2015.

The other named plaintiffs in the New Jersey case are football players Kevin Perry from the University of Texas at El Paso, William Tyndall of UC-Berkeley, and hoopster J.J. Moore of Rutgers.

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