1983 Members of the NC State team sue the NCAA for nothing in compensation

Ten players from North Carolina State’s 1983 national champion basketball team have sued the NCAA and its collegiate licensing company seeking compensation for the unauthorized use of their name, image and likeness.

The players filed suit in Wake County Superior Court on Monday, demanding a jury trial and “reasonable compensation.”

The late Jim Valvano’s 1983 team became known as the “Heart Pack” for a string of close wins that culminated in a 54-52 victory over Houston on a Lorenzo Charles dunk in the final seconds. Valvano’s run around the court became an iconic moment that was frequently replicated as part of NCAA Tournament promotions.

“For more than 40 years, the NCAA and its conspirators systematically and intentionally misappropriated the Cardiac Pack’s publicity rights — including their names, images and likenesses — associated with that game and that play, pocketing tens of millions of dollars,” the lawsuit said. Judicial: “From the legendary victory achieved by the Cardiac Pack.”

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

The plaintiffs include former team members Thurl Bailey, Alvin Battle, Walt Dinsmore, Tommy DiNardo, Terry Gannon, George McLean, Cosell McQueen, Walter Proctor, Harold Thompson, and Mike Warren.

Charles died in 2011 while Derek Wittenberg, whose teammate combined the missing 30-footer for the winning dunk, is an employee of N.C. State’s athletic department. Wittenberg is not among the plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit.

“The value of student-athletes to the NCAA does not end with their graduation; archival footage and other products constitute an ongoing source of income for the NCAA long after the students whose images were used have moved on from college,” the lawsuit asserts.

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The NCAA and the nation’s five major 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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