Local: 503.250.1080
    Toll Free: 866.358.1080
| More
College Football
Scoreboard|Standings|Teams|Leaders|Polls

Proposed $40 million settlement set for players

(AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, File)

By TIM DAHLBERG

AP Sports Writer

(AP) -- A $40 million settlement has been completed that will pay college football and basketball players dating to 2003 for the use of their likenesses in NCAA-branded videogames.

The payouts could go to more than 100,000 athletes, including some current players, who were either on college rosters or had their images used in videogames made by Electronic Arts featuring college teams. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say it would be the first time college athletes will be paid for the commercial use of their images.

Depending on how many athletes apply for the settlement, the payments could range from as little as $48 for each year an athlete was on a roster to $951 for each year the image of an athlete was used in a videogame.

"We're incredibly pleased with the results of this settlement and the opportunity to right a huge wrong enacted by the NCAA and EA against these players and their rights of publicity," said Steve Berman, one of the lead attorneys in the case. "We've fought against intense legal hurdles since filing this case in 2009 and to see this case come to fruition is a certain victory."

The settlement is with Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Co., which licenses and markets college sports, and does not include the NCAA. The case against the NCAA is scheduled for trial early next year.

Plaintiffs in the case, which dates to 2009, contend the NCAA conspired with Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Co. to illegally use their images in videogames.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken still must approve the proposed settlement, which comes on the eve of a major antitrust trial against the NCAA that could reshape the way college sports operate. That case, featuring former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon and others as lead plaintiffs, goes to trial June 9 in Oakland, California.

According to documents filed with the court late Friday, attorneys for O'Bannon and 20 other plaintiffs say they have already run up legal fees exceeding $30 million and expenses of more than $4 million in pressing their case. They are seeking an injunction that would stop the NCAA from enforcing rules that prohibit athletes from profiting from their play in college.

O'Bannon, who led UCLA to a national title in 1995, is also part of the group settling with EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Co. Also covered by the settlement are suits brought by former Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller, former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston and former Rutgers player Ryan Hart.

According to the filing, a pool of money will be available to players after attorneys take 33 percent of the proposed settlement and up to $2.5 million in expenses. Named plaintiffs like O'Bannon and Keller will receive $15,000, while others who joined the suit later would get $2,500 or $5,000.

The majority of the money, however, will go to athletes who file for claims, a group that attorneys say could contain between 140,000 and 200,000 players who were on football and basketball rosters from 2003 on. The final payouts will depend on how many of those athletes file claims in the class-action case.

EA Sports announced last year it would stop making the long-running NCAA football videogame series because of the litigation and other issues in securing licensing rights.

Updated June 1, 2014

126 © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

The Fan's Top Stories

Ducks move on to Spartans


(AP) -- Oregon easily got past South Dakota to open the season. Now the real challenge comes: Michigan State. The No. 3 Ducks host the No. 8 Spartans on Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium. More.

Oregon State kicks past Portland State 29-14


(AP) Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion passed for 328 yards and one touchdown and rushed for another score Saturday to pace the Beavers to a 29-14 victory over Portland State. More.

Gronk promises he will play Sunday


(AP) Star tight end Rob Gronkowski stood in front of his Gillette Stadium locker Monday and announced he will be playing in the New England Patriots' opener at Miami this Sunday. More.

USC CB Shaw: I lied about saving nephew


(AP) Josh Shaw has been an exemplary teammate and a valuable leader at Southern California, earning his fellow Trojans' trust and praise after transferring home to help his family two years ago. More.

Carroll calls penalties disappointing


(AP) Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says he's disappointed his team has been docked two practices next offseason for excessive physical contact in a minicamp in June. More.

Manning gets fine after taunting Texans safety


(AP) Peyton Manning has been docked a reported $8,268 for taunting Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger in a preseason game last week. More.

Timbers D Paparatto suspended for 1 game by MLS


(AP) Portland Timbers defender Norberto Paparatto has been suspended for a game after elbowing Seattle's Chad Marshall in the back of the head during Sunday's game. More.

Love: I'm 'committed long term' to Cavs


(AP) Kevin Love's phone rang in July and LeBron James asked the All-Star forward if he wanted to play with him in Cleveland. More.

Browns WR Gordon suspended for 2014


(AP) Josh Gordon's wait is over, and so is his 2014 season. Now the star wide receiver's career is in peril. The Browns learned . . . more.