The NCAA has issued a statement in response to Electronic Arts' recent $40 million settlement, and it's just as stubbornly unaware of itself as the organization's previous statements on issues pertaining to athlete compensation. The settlement in question will pay college athletes whose likenesses were illegally used by the company in various college football and basketball video games.
First, under no circumstances will we allow the proposed agreement between EA and plaintiff’s lawyers to negatively impact the eligibility of any student-athlete…not one will miss a practice or a game if this settlement is approved by the court. This proposed settlement does not equate to payment of current student-athletes for their athletic performance, regardless of how it is being publicly characterized.
Second, the real benefactors of this settlement are the lawyers, who could pocket more than $15 million.
We have not yet determined whether to formally object to any of the settlement terms.
The real kicker is the second paragraph, wherein the NCAA appears to throw up a brief distraction from its losing battles in court by identifying the real bad guys as the lawyers, who stand to make a whole $15 (!) million off these poor athletes. Unlike the NCAA, of course, which would never even dream of making $15 million.
The NCAA's statements on the issue seem to show the organization feels its back against the wall: last July, NCAA chief legal office Donald Remy called the players' rights movement a "scheme;" in January, Remy criticized Northwestern players pushing to form a union while claiming, "we stand for all student-athletes."
Twitter was not buying the most recent statement:
The NCAA is angry powerful people are exploiting athletes for profit. Noble take from them, IMO: http://t.co/Dxrwtplx2a— Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan) June 5, 2014
I'm curious, though. For the O'Bannon case, is the NCAA only paying its attorneys tuition, room and board? Seems appropriate.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) June 5, 2014
This line in NCAA's icy response to the $40 mil EA Sports settlement w/ players...wow. No self awareness whatsoever. pic.twitter.com/PSq9kFrqvc— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) June 5, 2014
People who "pocket more than $15 million" are "the real benefactors," says the NCAA. Let's think about that.— Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) June 5, 2014