With the $60 million settlement award already cleared by a judge, it's now time for the college football and basketball players who appeared in EA games from 2003 to 2014 to finally get paid. ESPN's Darren Rovell reports today that, of the total number of players who submitted claims in the class-action suit, 24,819 players have valid claims. This comes out to around $1,600 each, with the lawyers' 30 percent cut taken out.
The identities of the former players has not been disclosed. However, the lead plaintiffs, including Ed O'Bannon, as well as class-action representatives, will get paid quite a bit more.
From the ESPN report:
"Players will be paid based on what years' games they appeared in (earlier years are worth less) and how they were used (photographs or avatars are assigned more value than just a name or body description on a roster).
"The lead plaintiffs--former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart and former Nebraska and Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller--will get the most money, estimated to be $15,000 each. Twenty-one players, including former Alabama wide receiver Tyrone Prothro, get $5,000 for being class-action representatives."EA and the NCAA concluded their licensing deal in 2013, later revealing that it had put it NCAA Football series on hold. The most recent game in the series was 2013's NCAA Football 14. EA's NCAA Basketball series, meanwhile, hasn't seen a new release since 2009's NCAA Basketball 10.
The voice of EA'a NCAA Football games, Kirk Herbstreit, recently made waves for saying O'Bannon is ultimately to blame for the cancellation of the NCAA Football series.
"Ed O'Bannon ruined that for all of us," he said. "And hopefully we can get that fixed."Herbstreit added that "every single college football player" would be OK with getting a free copy of the game as compensation.
"That's the compensation that they would take," he said. "I've never met one player in college football that's like: 'They can’t use my name and likeness! I need to be paid!' They're just thrilled to be on the game. They love being on the game. It's like the biggest highlight of their life, is to be on the game."
The fate of EA's NCAA football and basketball game franchises is unclear.