NCAA won't punish current players for EA Sports video game payouts

Thursday June 5th, 2014

Lawyers for EA Sports want the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit dismissed. (Isaac Brekken, AP Photo) The trial of ex-UCLA star Ed O'Bannon against the NCAA is set to start next Monday. (Isaac Brekken, AP Photo)

The NCAA said it won't punish current college players if they receive a portion of the payout from a $40 million settlement with Electronic Arts.

EA Sports and the NCAA settled a lawsuit last week over the use of images and likenesses of current and former college players in video games. The payout could go to as many 100,000 athletes whose images were used in those games.

Although the NCAA will be lenient on the players who collect money from the lawsuit, the organization didn't have kind words to say about the lawyers, who it says will "pocket more than $15 million" from the litigation.

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More from the NCAA:

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.

On Monday, another trial begins in Oakland, Calif., where ex-players claim that the NCAA profited from video game sales while those who appeared in the game received nothing.


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