Regarding former NCAA athletes lodging legal challenges against the institution, Ed O’Bannon is usually the first name that comes to people’s minds.
His name led the class-action lawsuit, O’Bannon v. NCAA, from a decade ago, which opened the door for the name, image and likeness changes currently underway.
On Monday, in a separate landmark antitrust ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the NCAA cannot limit education-related benefits athletes can receive. The lead plaintiff in this case, Alston v. NCAA, is Shawne Alston, a former West Virginia Mountaineers running back.
Like O’Bannon, his name will now be associated with the rights of collegiate athletes.
Who is Shawne Alston?
Alston grew up in Hampton, Virginia, and played at Phoebus High School. In the state playoffs alone during his senior season, he rushed for 971 yards and 10 touchdowns.
At 5-foot-11 and 235 pounds, Alston was more of an old-school back — and situations near the goal line became his calling while playing for West Virginia. He scored 12 rushing touchdowns in 2011, when the Mountaineers won the Orange Bowl in former coach Dana Holgorsen’s first season.
He scored seven touchdowns and averaged 5.1 yards per attempt the next season but was limited to eight games as West Virginia lost in the Pinstripe Bowl.
According to his LinkedIn page, Alston spent one month with the New Orleans Saints in 2013.
He majored in criminology at West Virginia and earned an M.B.A. from the University of the Southwest in 2015 before becoming a juvenile probation officer for the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.