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Judge orders NCAA lawsuit to go to trial June 9 on antitrust claims

A federal judge on Friday denied the NCAA's request to delay the trial on the antitrust suit by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon and others.

The trial will begin June 9 in Oakland, California, and has the potential to reshape the way major college sports operate.

It will center on claims that the NCAA conspired to restrain competition in Division I sports and in the group licensing of broadcasts and videogames.

Judge Claudia Wilken also set another trial for next March on claims by other athletes that the NCAA and the videogame maker Electronic Arts misappropriated athletes' names and likenesses for NCAA-branded videogames. That case previously had been combined with the O'Bannon case.

Twenty former college athletes, including basketball greats Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson, are plaintiffs. The suit seeks an injunction that could allow athletes to band together and sell their services to colleges, either in the form of pay or extra benefits the NCAA doesn't currently allow.

This month, the plaintiffs dropped their demand for individual damages in the case, narrowing the scope of the trial.