NCAA Video Game Settlement Payments Detailed

An estimated 100,000 college football and basketball players can receive up to $5,000 a year for the use of their likeness in NCAA-based video games, according to a settlement in an ongoing class action dispute. The news comes from Courthouse News who obtained the settlement document this morning.

Attorneys for former Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller announced in June that they had reached a settlement with the NCAA over a class action, now in its fifth year, involving publicity rights for former and current college athletes, according to Courthouse News. This settlement follows a $40 million settlement deal with Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Co., which is expected to go to around 100,000 college athletes.

The terms of the video games settlement were filed in U.S. District Court on Monday – you can read the document for yourselves here (PDF). Attorneys for the plaintiffs estimate that the settlement with the NCAA would result in 75 percent of the amount they hoped to recover at trial, which they called "a very favorable outcome." Indeed.

In total, a fund of $60 million is expected to be available for student athletes whose names, images and likenesses were used in EA video games, according to court documents. Testimony in the trial involving NCAA athletes on television wrapped up Friday, and U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken is expected to rule in mid-August.

The settlement with the NCAA caps payments at $1,818 per roster appearance, while the EA settlement caps at $3,182. Those combined settlements will create a cash fund of $60 million before fees and expenses.

Named defendants in the NCAA right-of-publicity class – Sam Keller, Bryan Cummings, Bryon Bishop and Lamar Watkins – are expected to receive $5,000 each from the settlement, while Keller and O'Bannon will receive $15,000 from the EA settlement. The EA settlement includes a portion for "roster-only" plaintiffs who did not have avatars in video games.

Judge Wilken must approve the settlement before it goes into effect.

Source: Courthouse News

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