While O’Bannon sucks all the oxygen out of the media tent, the NCAA does what public institutions tend to do – bury the news it doesn’t want anyone paying attention to under the attention directed elsewhere.
The NCAA today agreed to settle claims against the Association over college-themed basketball and football video games produced by Electronic Arts. The agreement will end the Keller litigation and provide a monetary settlement to a class of video game plaintiffs.
The settlement will award $20 million to certain Division I men’s basketball and Division I Bowl Subdivision football student-athletes who attended certain institutions during the years the games were sold.
“With the games no longer in production and the plaintiffs settling their claims with EA and the Collegiate Licensing Company, the NCAA viewed a settlement now as an appropriate opportunity to provide complete closure to the video game plaintiffs,” said NCAA Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy.
If it’s got Donald’s seal of approval, you know it’s got to be good. And it’s an amateurism-free settlement, to boot.
This settlement, and the previously announced settlement between other parties to the litigation, could result in some current FBS football or Division I men’s basketball student-athletes receiving a monetary award from a settlement fund.
“Consistent with the terms of a court-approved settlement, the NCAA will allow a blanket eligibility waiver for any currently enrolled student-athletes who receive funds connected with the settlement. In no event do we consider this settlement pay for athletics performance,” Remy said.
College athletes, if you get paid voluntarily, that’s bad. But if you get paid as part of a litigation settlement, you’re golden. I think the NCAA just handed you one helluva cheat around the amateurism guidelines: sign a deal, have the other party default, sue, settle and take it to the bank.
I wonder what Stacey Osburn thinks about that.