As expected, a settlement in the class-action lawsuit against the NCAA and Electronic Arts has been approved by a federal judge. That gives them two weeks after the settlement has been approved of by the judge.
In August, Wilken ruled that the NCAA can not prevent athletes from selling the rights to their names, images and likenesses. A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Steve Berman, suggests the deadline to seek payment will be extended to July 31, 2015.
Berman says Wilken told the cases’ attorneys that she might reduce the costs and fees that they will be awarded to 30% of the settlement rather than 33%.
In June 2014, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing reached a $40 million settlement in that case, after judges refused to accept the video game maker’s argument that the First Amendment protected its use of player likenesses. This decision is going to redefine publishers’ approaches towards collegiate sports games, as the courts have decided student-athletes have to be paid for their appearances and names being used in college sports games.
The dispute between the athletes and the other entities arose from the fact that college athletes’ names and likenesses appear in the EA NCAA games, but the players receive no compensation for it. This is different than games based on professional sports where the athletes do get compensation.
It’s possible the dollar amount for players will increase.
Players who were on NCAA football and men’s basketball teams that were published or distributed in video games between May 2003 and September 2014 – including current student-athletes – are eligible to receive up to $7,200.
“She wants what we want: a fair payment for the attorneys, who took tremendous risks, and the best results for those athletes who make claims,” Carey said.
“I’m pleased to be part of a landmark effort that will get student-athletes paid for the first time in history”, Berman said.
Those athletes still playing college sports can receive money from the settlement without any detriment to their eligibility. The NCAA Football video games from EA were the Madden of college football and still remains a popular game even though it went out of production in 2013.