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College Athletes To Get Part Of $60 Million EA Sports Settlement

by Matthew Kato on Mar 17, 2016 at 11:02 AM

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Payment terms for college athletes who appeared in EA Sports' basketball and football video game franchises between 2003 and 2014 have been established as part of the $60 million settlement by Electronic Arts and the NCAA in the O'Bannon lawsuit.

After lawyers take their 30 percent, 24,819 athletes of the class-action lawsuit who have been determined to have a valid claim will get an average of $1,600. Lead plaintiffs, former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, former Rutgers QB Ryan Hart, and former Nebraska/Arizona State QB Sam Keller will get an estimated $15,000 apiece.

In general, the amounts were based on what years the athletes appeared in and the manner in which their likeness was used. Earlier years of the video games were worth less, and those players whose photos or avatars were used got more money than those who were simply represented by a generic name or body description.

The O'Bannon lawsuit (and other ones merged into it) regards the uncompensated use of player likenesses by the NCAA and EA Sports.

In related news, the plaintiffs in the O'Bannon case are requesting that the Supreme Court hear the case in the hopes it strikes down part of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals anti-trust affirmation against the NCAA that said athletes would have been able to make money above the cost of attendance. Moreover, the NCAA itself also hopes to take matters to the Supreme Court and challenge the anti-trust ruling itself.

[Source: ESPN, The Sporting News]


Our Take
As you can see, with all these lawyers and courts still involved – not to mention the financial matter of licenses EA Sports would have to address before it could resume making college sports titles – we're not likely to be playing new college video games any time soon.