Michael McCann, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, and former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon have partnered to sign a book deal with Diversion Books, finalizing an agreement to tell the story of O’Bannon’s life in basketball and his historic court case against the NCAA.
The book, “Court Justice: The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA and A Life of Basketball,” is set to be published in February 2018.
McCann – the founding Director of UNH Law’s Sports and Entertainment Law Institute and Sports Illustrated’s legal analyst – has previously teamed up with O’Bannon as part of several events hosted at UNH Law, including a November 2016 symposium at which O’Bannon spoke publicly for the first time following his victory against the NCAA in the historic case surrounding the rights of amateur athletes.
The groundbreaking case – which originated when O’Bannon saw his likeness featured in a video game without his consent – concluded Oct. 3, 2016, when the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions for writ of certiorari by both O’Bannon and the NCAA. The denial left in place O’Bannon’s 2015 victory before a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that held that certain NCAA amateurism rules constitute an unlawful and anti-competitive conspiracy by the more than 1,200 member NCAA colleges, conferences and affiliate organizations to deny men’s basketball and football players of the monetary value of their names, images and likenesses when used for commercial purposes.
The upcoming book will feature O’Bannon’s first-person account of the case, as well as his celebrated basketball career, during which he rose from a phenom in Los Angeles to win the John Wooden Award as college basketball’s best player en route to leading UCLA to the 1995 NCAA National Championship. He would go on to be an NBA lottery pick and embark on a professional basketball career that allowed him to travel around the world.
UNH Law 3L and sports law certificate candidate Zach Leach provided research assistance for the book.