Gophers Alipate, Keise join O’Bannon NCAA lawsuit


October 1, 2011; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines cornerback Courtney Avery (5) breaks up a pass to Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Victor Keise (84) in the fourth quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Golden Gopher football players Moses Alipate and Victor Keise joined a lawsuit Thursday against the NCAA about the use of college athletes’ likeness in video games and other marketable ventures.

The two redshirt seniors joined four other current college football players on a class-action antitrust lawsuit that was originally presented by multiple former college athletes in 2009. Former Nebraska football player Sam Keller was the first to bring forth a lawsuit and former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon soon followed.

Over the past few years, more and more former college athletes have rallied behind Keller and O’Bannon and joined their cause against the NCAA as well as Electronic Arts, Inc. and Collegiate Licensing Company. Thursday marked the first time in which current student athletes were named to the suit.

Joining Alipate and Keise are Arizona football players Jake Fischer and Jake Smith, Clemson defensive back Darius Robinson, and Vanderbilt linebacker Chase Garnham. The six total players are part of an amended complaint against the NCAA that was presented in response to U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken’s ruling in June against the O’Bannon camp.

Her ruling stated that in order for the suit to be certified, it needed a current athlete as one of the parties represented. In a statement to, lead attorney for the plaintiffs Michael Hausfeld said, “There are real current athletes in four different conferences, all very interested in speaking out on behalf of all current athletes, I think that says a lot.”

It will be interesting to see how this play out for Alipate and Keise over the coming years and whether or not this will change their status with the Gopher football program. Public comments from the two Maroon and Gold upperclassmen, head coach Jerry Kill, and athletic director Norwood Teague have yet to be established.

A ruling on the certification of the suit is expected later this summer.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that it was not going to renew its contract with EA Sports in 2014 for the use of the NCAA name and logo on its products.

In Other News…

  • After Day 1 of The Open Championship at Muirfield golf course  in Gullane, Scotland, Gophers alum Tom Lehman was tied for fourth overall by shooting a three under par 68. Lehman heads into Day 2 on Friday as one of nine Americans in the Top 15 overall in the major golf championship. A 1982 graduate of the Univ. of Minnesota, Lehman has had a long and celebrated professional golf career. This includes one career major victory, the 1996 Open Championship in Lytham St. Annes, England.
  • MLB All-Star relief pitcher Glen Perkins begins the second half of his 2013 season Friday versus the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. The left-handed Minnesota Twins closer boasts a 1.82 ERA in 35 appearances and has locked down 21 saves for the Twins in 23 attempts. The Gophers alum did not appear in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York on Tuesday.
  • Former Golden Gophers quarterback and wide receiver MarQueis Gray will attend his first NFL Training Camp Friday in Santa Clara, Calif. with the San Francisco 49ers. The now converted tight end is one of many rookie players trying to earn a spot on the roster of last season’s Super Bowl runner-up.
  • The 2013 ESPY Awards took place Wednesday in Los Angeles and somehow the Univ. of Minnesota was not nominated for a single category. The women’s hockey team at least deserved consideration for Best Team, Best Championship Performance, Best Record Breaking Performance, Best Coach/Manager, and Best Game. Women’s hockey star Amanda Kessel should have been nominated for Best Female College Athlete and two-time defending heavyweight wrestling champion Tony Nelson should have received a nod for Best Male College Athlete. The closest ESPY to go to someone with Gopher ties was men’s basketball head coach Richard Pitino’s father Rick, who took the Best Coach/Manager award for his work with the Louisville basketball program this past season.

Tweet of the Day

There will be a lot of top potential recruits on-campus this weekend at TCF Bank Stadium for the Gophers football camp. If you love recruiting, keep your ear to the ground for some potential buzz/commitments this weekend in the land of the Gold and Gopher!

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