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Nick Saban | Center

Team: Alabama Crimson Tide

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Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel portrayed the NCAA's defense in the O’Bannon trial as "tone-deaf."
The NCAA's baffling defense strategy included calling a grand total of zero student-athletes or coaches to speak on its behalf. Mandel's column, linked below, is worth the read. He writes: "Over three weeks of testimony, the NCAA’s 14 handpicked witnesses to date have mostly pontificated the type of elitist, ivory-tower rhetoric that routinely infuriates its critics. It has offered little convincing evidence that compensating athletes through group licensing fees would irreparably harm college athletics. And that’s coming from someone like me, who passionately enjoys college football and basketball. I can’t imagine the organization has fared better with U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, for whom the sports world is so spectacularly foreign that she had to ask one witness to spell out ESPY." Mandel added: "It would be an enormous upset at this point if she ruled in favor of the NCAA." Jun 29 - 2:34 PM

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