Venable partner Frank Ciatto was quoted in a May 29, 2014 USA Today article on the formation of the Former College Athletes Association (FCAA). The FCAA is a nonprofit organization formed with an eye towards a class action and antitrust suit against the NCAA over the use of college athletes’ names, images, and likenesses plus limits on what they can receive for playing sports. Kenneth R. Feinberg who oversaw victims-compensation funds related to the September 11 terrorists and the Boston Marathon bombing leads the group.
Ciatto, who is helping the group with various legal issues, said funding for the group “could come from a for-profit subsidiary the organization intends to form and then use to negotiate group licensing deals on former athletes' behalf with entities such as the NCAA, video game companies and broadcasters interested in showing classic college sporting events.”
Other Venable attorneys, not including Ciatto, also work on a multi-firm legal team representing Ed O'Bannon – former UCLA basketball player – in a suit against the NCAA. If the O'Bannon plaintiffs do not prevail, said Ciatto, the FCAA's potential group licensing activities likely “would be put on ice for a period of time.”