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On Aug. 12, 1945, days after atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, the Donnors received an official telegram at their home in Big Rapids, Mich. Their son, U.S. Navy Radio Technician 2nd Class Clarence Donnor was missing in action, it said.

Although they did not know it at the time, Donnor had been listed as aboard on the USS Indianapolis, which had been sunk by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea on July 30, resulting in the largest loss of life at sea in U.S. Navy history.

In 2009, the former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon took on the NCAA in a lawsuit that challenged the organization's ability to profit from the likenesses of college athletes in a video game. But as the case heated up, its stakes and scope began to sprawl, and opened a can of worms that threatened to upend one of the bedrock principles of college sports: amateurism.