Attorneys representing student-athletes who sued EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company have filed a motion to approve a settlement. The suit stems from EA Sports and the CLC illegally using student-athletes' likenesses in video games over many years.
The settlement, which is worth $40 million, covers claims made in the Keller vs. Electronic Arts case and O'Bannon vs. NCAA case, as well as the Alston vs. NCAA and Hart vs. Electronic Arts cases. Student-athletes represented could receive up to $951 for each year they were featured in the video games, according to a press release from public relations firm Firmani and Associates. ESPN's Tom Farrey reports that as many as 100,000 current and former football and basketball players could be covered. Attorneys will receive up to $13.2 million in the settlement, per Farrey.
EA Sports announced in September that it would no longer make the NCAA Football video game franchise.
"We're incredibly pleased with the results of this settlement and the opportunity to right a huge wrong enacted by the NCAA and EA against these players and their rights of publicity," Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and co-lead attorney. "We've fought against intense legal hurdles since filing this case in 2009 and to see this case come to fruition is a certain victory."
Just because EA Sports and the CLC are close to settling, it doesn't mean the O'Bannon case is wrapping up anytime soon.
1) To those bemoaning attorney fees: Players were never gonna get much from video games. Not the big one.— Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan) May 31, 2014
2) Main objective of these suits is changing the system. O'Bannon, Keller injunctions much more important.— Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan) May 31, 2014
3) There is no way in hell the NCAA doesn't eventually settle in Keller, right? Seems like a no-brainer, but …— Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan) May 31, 2014
O'Bannon vs. NCAA now primarily centers around television money. The NCAA, collegiate conferences and programs bring in hundreds of millions of dollars each year, and student-athletes are staking their claim to the money. Despite the NCAA's efforts to delay it, the O'Bannon case is set to go to trial on June 9.