Monday, June 9, 2014

NCAA Settles Player Likeness Lawsuit

The NCAA has agreed to pay $20 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by players whose likenesses were used in EA games developed by the EA Tiburon studio, Electronic Arts Inc.'s Central Florida division. The suit over royalties for videogames produced here was filed in 2009 by Sam Keller. According to the NCAA, the settlement will award money to certain Division I men’s basketball and bowl football student-athletes who attended certain institutions during the years the games were sold. “With the games no longer in production and the plaintiffs settling their claims with EA and the Collegiate Licensing Company, the NCAA viewed a settlement now as an appropriate opportunity to provide complete closure to the video game plaintiffs,” said NCAA Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy. The Keller lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial next year. Courts are expected to approve the agreement. EA Sports already settled a $40 million lawsuit with players and is no longer making its college football game. This news comes during E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where EA is expected to announce its newest lineup of video games today. The NCAA hopes the settlement the will help it in the larger trial getting underway Monday, named for former UCLA star and lead plaintiff Ed O'Bannon. Reportedly, the settlement is historic in that the NCAA will cut a check to players for their on-field performance, though it maintains there is nothing illegal in prohibiting college athletes from earning money off their play while in school. See stories here-- and