USA Today officially reported that the suit filed by the NCAA accusing EA and the Collegiate Licensing Co of breach of contractual obligations was over their proposed settlement of the NCAA player likeness case. In case you forgot, this is why NCAA football 2015 is probably not happening.
The NCAA originally sued EA and the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing firm, the CLC., back in November in connection with the intent of those companies to settle their respective parts of the lawsuit. This lawsuit concerned the use of college athletes’ names and likenesses.
Some of the breaches cited included failing to maintain liability insurance against claims similar to this one, which would have covered the NCAA’s legal costs during the proceedings, but left them stranded with millions of dollars worth of attorney fees. Whoops.
According to the NCAA, most of the money was spent defending themselves against the suits related to EA’s NCAA-themed video game. The NCAA is also looking to further to protect itself of future liability in other judgments related to EA’s NCAA titles.
The suit seeks to stop EA and the CLC from going through with a proposed settlement, with the NCAA alleging that EA and CLC reached the settlement without even giving them proper notice. Despite the NCAA’s repeated requests, EA and the CLC refused to comply and provide information to the NCAA regarding the settlement.
The CLC is required to do so under the terms of its licensing contract with the NCAA, and EA is also required to indemnify the NCAA. But guess they both missed that memo!
The NCAA also says that with the proposed settlement, “EA has demonstrated that it will not perform its contractual duty” to cover the NCAA against future claims related to the video games.
Dang, EA, do you want some ice with that burn?
Both EA and the NCAA have yet to comment on the case.