On Monday the NCAA announced that it will pay $20 million to former college football and basketball players who had their images and likenesses used in various E.A. Sports video games.
The class action lawsuit was started by former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback, Sam Keller, who for years as a college student awaited the release of both games. One day something clicked into Keller’s head that he thought wasn’t right. Professional players, whether football, basketball or baseball, were getting royalties for their images and likeness but the college players were not.
“It wasn’t until after I was done playing football that the light turned on in my head about what was really going on. When you’re a student athlete you kind of become like a robot,” Keller said in an interview with The Associated Press.
He added: “Friends would share with me, ‘Hey bro, I won the Heisman Trophy with you.’ … Meanwhile, we couldn’t sell a jersey or do autographs or anything to profit from our likeness. It was all big corporations.”
Monday’s announcement covers Division I men’s basketball and Bowl Subdivision football players whose images, likenesses or names were included in game footage or in an EA video game after 2005.
A week prior E.A. Sports settled another class-action lawsuit for $40 million for similar allegations. This settlement however covers athletes to 2003, even if they were not in the video games.
Now I know you are wondering how much each player is going to get in this settlement, well it depends on how many athletes are included in the settlement. According to Steve Berman one of the attorneys, ‘payments to Division I men’s basketball and Bowl Subdivision football players are expected to range from $400 to $2,000 each.’
Are these two settlements an indication of what’s to come in the future in regards to college athletes being paid for play? Who knows. Honestly between these two settlements and the decision to allow the athletes of Northwestern University to form a union, some type of shake-up is on the horizon in college athletics.
Your Jersey Girlfriend,