The Morning Stake: March 18th


Mr. O’Bannon Goes to Washington. Via CBS Sports Jon Solomon, Ed O’Bannon has petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the O’Bannon case:

Last fall, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken’s decision allowing college football and men’s basketball players to be paid up to $5,000 per year in deferred money. But the Ninth Circuit upheld that the NCAA’s rules restricting payments to players violate antitrust laws. As it stands now, cost of attendance stipends — since they are tied to education — are the highest form of payment the NCAA must legally allow schools to offer players.

What does the O’Bannon petition mean? Some questions and answers follow.

What’s at stake?

Should college athletes be allowed to get paid for use of their names, images and likenesses? The heart of the O’Bannon case was video games, but the allowance of money for players could be for any sort of merchandise. The Supreme Court only hears about 1 percent of petitioned cases so the odds are long for a review. But the Supreme Court does take high-profile cases and O’Bannon has been in the news since 2009.

The key here is whether or not the student-athletes should receive additional compensation, in addition to the cost of attendance. As noted, it seems like a long shot for the Supreme Court to hear the case, but it’s an interesting move for the O’Bannon plaintiffs.



Track & Field


Texas Tech Falls to Butler. Texas Tech didn’t make it past Butler in the NCAA Tournament, losing 71-61 (recap | box score | quotes). I haven’t even had time to watch the game, appointments yesterday afternoon and I simply passed out last night after a long week of work and it’s always tough to watch a game after you know that Texas Tech has lost. I’ll spend my sad Friday night watching the game. Head coach Tubby Smith said after the game Texas Tech is only losing two players, Toddrick Gotcher and Devaugntah Williams, but knows that having all of these guys returning isn’t a guarantee, but is excited about the future:

Well, we have everybody back except, you know, Toddrick, and D-Will. We signed one player, going to sign a couple more. I think it sets up pretty good. I think the experience of being here, even
though we haven’t won yet in the postseason play, in the Big 12 or in the NCAA Tournament, I think that taste of losing, you don’t want to have that experience again. I think they’ll understand just how hard they have to work in order to get back here. It’s not a given just because you have experienced players, because a lot of things can

So, I think we have a good group of guys in Norense, Zach, Keenan. They’ve been the backbone of the program. You can tell that they were sort of physically outmatched as far as strength and just bulk. And I think that’s an area that with maturity, and getting in the weight room, I think those things will be key. But, you know, we got Matt back, and he has another year, hopefully we’ll get another year for him. He’s really developing into a good player. Rokas is starting to play extremely well. He’s really developing. We got a good front line, and we have some people coming to help us in the back court.

Step Forward. LAJ’s Krista Pirtle writes that despite the loss to Butler, Texas Tech took a step forward this year:

After getting a taste of the madness, the Red Raiders will stop at nothing to get back.

“Of course we’ve never experienced an NCAA Tournament,” sophomore forward Justin Gray said. “Overall, the arena and fans and just the atmosphere. … We played in the Big 12 Tournament, but obviously that doesn’t compare to March Madness. I think it’s a great experience. Now we know what it feels like and we know what we have to work on in order to advance next year.”

When the word “postseason” was thrown around Lubbock in reference to the Red Raider basketball program, the popular opinion before the 2015-16 campaign began was that Texas Tech had a chance to make the NIT.


Spring Position Battle. ESPN’s Brandon Chatmon looks at a position battle for Texas Tech, the inside receiver spot vacated by Jakeem Grant:

Prediction: The Red Raiders plan to allow the trio to compete for the starting spot. If more than one of them shows they can be a playmaker we should expect Kliff Kingsbury to find roles to take advantage of their skills, even if that means having two or more of them on the field at the same time. Batson begins the season as the starter, but Bowman and Coutee will each get opportunities to prove their playmaking potential in Grant’s absence. Between the three of them, Texas Tech is able to replace Grant’s production even if its unable to replace his game-changing explosiveness.

Might also want to add that if and when Devin Lauderdale returns, he might be playing inside rather than outside when he gets back, so add one more candidate to that spot and might just be the lead guy, or maybe he backs up Ian Sadler.

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