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O'Bannon takes stand in landmark NCAA lawsuit

In this April 3, 1995, file photo, UCLA's Ed O'Bannon celebrates after his team won the NCAA championship game against Arkansas in Seattle. Five years after the former UCLA star filed his antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, it goes to trial Monday, June 9, 2014, in a California courtroom. (Eric Draper/AP File Photo)
In this April 3, 1995, file photo, UCLA's Ed O'Bannon celebrates after his team won the NCAA championship game against Arkansas in Seattle. Five years after the former UCLA star filed his antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, it goes to trial Monday, June 9, 2014, in a California courtroom. (Eric Draper/AP File Photo)
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Updated: 6/09 4:25 pm

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The battle to give top football and basketball players a cut of the billions of dollars flowing into college athletics began in earnest Monday with former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon taking the stand in federal court to describe how he spent long hours working on his game and as few as possible on his grades.

The lead plaintiff in a landmark antitrust suit against the NCAA said his goal at UCLA wasn't to get a degree, but to get two years of college experience before being drafted into the NBA.

O'Bannon portrayed himself as a dedicated athlete who would stay after games to work on his shot if he played poorly.

The testimony came as a trial that could upend the way college sports are regulated opened, five years after the suit was filed.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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