NCAA reaches settlement in video game suit

By Alex Jordan,

The NCAA announced on Monday that it has reached a settlement in a lawsuit that was filed by players over football and basketball video games produced by Electronic Arts.

According to CBS Sports, the NCAA will pay $20 million to Division I football and men’s basketball players who went to certain schools during the years the games were sold. The lawsuit was filed by former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller over the use of college athletes' names, images and likeness in video games. The case was set to go to trial in March 2015.

The settlement is pending approval from a judge and current college athletes could receive money from the settlement.

“This is the first time in the history of the NCAA that the organization is paying student-athletes for rights related to their play on the field, compensating them for their contribution to the profit-making nature of college sports,” Steve Berman, Keller’s attorney, said in a statement. “We've long held through our various cases against the NCAA that the student-athlete is treated poorly in everything from scholarships to safety. This settlement is a step toward equity and fairness for them.”

NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement the NCAA doesn’t consider the settlement as pay for athletic performance and there’s an opportunity to provide closure for the plaintiffs. The settlement won’t impact the Ed O’Bannon case, which is trying to end the NCAA rules that prohibit college athletes from being paid off their names, likeness and images. That case will start trial on Monday.

The $20 million settlement isn’t the only settlement to be reached recently. Two weeks ago 100,000 current and former student athletes reached a separate settlement with Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Co. That settlement is for $40 million and payments will range from $48 to $951 for use of their likeness in NCAA-related videogames dating back to 2003, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The NCAA still says that there’s nothing illegal with not paying college athletes.

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