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NCAA and EA Sports Must Pay $60Mil to College Athletes

College athletes featured in video games produced by the NCAA and EA Sports may now receive compensation for their appearances.

A federal court judge has ruled that EA Sports and the NCAA must pay a $60 million settlement to collegiate athletes depicted in the NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball franchises. One of the plaintiffs' lawyers, Steve Berman, confirmed US District Court judge Claudia Wilken's ruling on Friday. This is Wilken's second ruling in favor of college athletes against the NCAA, following a decision handed down in footballer Ed O'Bannon's injury suit, which also challenged the association's use of player likenesses without compensation.

Wages for college athletes is a hotly contested issue in the United States, where players are currently eligible to receive only free tuition and small stipends, and these at their schools' discretion. By contrast, the NCAA's revenue for 2013 was a whopping $912.8 million. Berman stated that the players' lawsuit against EA Sports and the NCAA "marks the first time student-athletes will be paid for the [sic] likeness or image." Athletes have until the end of July to respond to the case, and are each eligible to receive up to $7,026.

Published Jul. 18th 2015
  • Durinn McFurren
    Contributor
    If their likenesses are being used commercially, then they should be compensated. In fact $7000 seems pretty paltry.

    It does annoy me that they get free tuition, though. I would much rather see the free tuition being given to smart students with financial need.
  • Kristian Wilson
    Correspondent
    I think if the NCAA paid taxes, schools might be a bit less inclined to provide athletic scholarships. But hey, that could all just even out. What do I know?

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