10 members of NC State's 1983 national champions sue NCAA over name, image and likeness compensation

Mon, Jun 10, 2024

10 members of NC State's 1983 national champions sue NCAA over name, image and likeness compensation

Ten players from North Carolina State's 1983 national champion basketball team have sued the NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing Company seeking compensation for unauthorized use of their name, image and likeness.

The players filed suit in Wake County Superior Court on Monday, requesting a jury trial and "reasonable compensation."

The late Jim Valvano's 1983 team became known as the "Cardiac Pack" for a series of close victories culminating in a 54-52 win over Houston on Lorenzo Charles' dunk in the final seconds. Valvano's run around the court became an iconic moment frequently replayed as part of NCAA Tournament promotions.

"For more than 40 years, the NCAA and its co-conspirators have systematically and intentionally misappropriated the Cardiac Pack's publicity rights - including their names, images, and likenesses - associated with that game and that play, reaping scores of millions of dollars from the Cardiac Pack's legendary victory," the lawsuit said.

NCAA spokesperson Michelle Hosick did not immediately return a text message seeking comment Monday from The Associated Press.

Plaintiffs include former team members Thurl Bailey, Alvin Battle, Walt Densmore, Tommy DiNardo, Terry Gannon, George McClain, Cozell McQueen, Walter Proctor, Harold Thompson and Mike Warren.

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Charles died in 2011 while Dereck Whittenburg, whose missed 30-footer was collected by his teammate for the winning dunk, is a staffer in the North Carolina State athletic department. Whittenburg is not among the plaintiffs listed in the suit.

The suit contends that "student-athletes' value to the NCAA does not end with their graduation; archival footage and other products constitute an ongoing income stream for the NCAA long after the students whose images are used have moved on from college."

The NCAA and the nation's five biggest conferences recently agreed to pay nearly $2.8 billion to settle a host of antitrust claims, pending a judge's approval.


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