NCAA Video Games Settlement Released


     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Around 100,000 college football and men's basketball players can receive up to $5,000 a year for use of their likenesses in NCAA-based video games, according to a settlement in an ongoing class action dispute.
     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.
     This settlement followed a $40 million settlement deal with Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Co., which is expected to go to around 100,000 college athletes.
     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 terms of the video games settlement were filed in U.S. District Court on Monday. 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, calling it "a very favorable outcome."
     The settlement with the NCAA caps payments at $1,818 per roster appearance, and $3,182 for the EA settlement. The combined settlements will create a cash fund of $60 million before fees and expenses.
     Sam Keller, Bryan Cummings, Bryon Bishop and Lamar Watkins are the named plaintiffs in the NCAA right-of-publicity class, and are expected to receive $5,000 each from the settlement. Keller and O'Bannon would 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.