Federal Judge Approves Settlements in NCAA Video Game Lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken indicated that she would approve two settlements involving college football and men's basketball players who appeared in NCAA-branded video games developed and published by Electronic Arts, according to two plaintiffs' lawyers who took part in a preliminary approval hearing on Thursday.

During that same hearing – and again citing details shared by lawyers taking part in the hearing on behalf of plaintiffs – Judge Wilken disagreed with the NCAA's argument that its $20 million settlement with the Sam Keller plaintiffs and others releases all video game claims from the Ed O'Bannon case.

Wilken's decision on Thursday “means the judge is now free to decide on an injunction that can encompass video games, as O'Bannon argued at trial,” O'Bannon attorney Michael Lehman told CBS Sports via email.

Keller attorney Leonard Aragon's opinion is that Judge Wilken "essentially said she sees the release as only applying to the Keller claim and not having an effect on the O'Bannon claim" and that she adopted language that will be in a future order.

The NCAA argues that the "global settlement releases claims for all current and former NCAA student-athletes, including the O'Bannon named plaintiffs."

Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Company settled for $40 million with plaintiffs who may have appeared in video games, and the NCAA settled for $20 million. The parties filed revised settlement terms earlier this week that removed a $5,000-per-year cap for players' claims.

CBS Sports has more about the settlement process here.

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