The NCAA announced Monday it has reached a $20 million settlement with former Division I college football and basketball players over the use of their likeness in video games produced by EA Sports.
The money will be paid to plaintiffs led by former Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller. The case was due to go to trial in March 2015. Details of the settlement still are being finalized.
“Consistent with the terms of a court-approved settlement, the NCAA will allow a blanket eligibility waiver for any currently enrolled student-athletes who receive funds connected with the settlement,” NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. “In no event do we consider this settlement pay for athletics performance.”
A similar case involving former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon went to trial in Oakland, Calif., on Monday. In both cases, the former Division I athletes are claiming their images were used in broadcasts and video games without compensation.
Previously, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company agreed to a $40 million settlement with former college athletes. That settlement is pending court approval.
“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,” Remy said.
Remy said the “unique” video game settlement does not affect the NCAA's belief that it operates its collegiate model in a lawful manner.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun