NCAA lawsuit against Electronic Arts And Collegiate Licensing Company

by Rachel Baker on November 21, 2013

Apparently, this law suit is going to become a much bigger deal than originally thought.

The lawsuit filed by the NCAA is the byproduct of a pending $40 million settlement between former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart as lead plaintiff for a host of former student-athletes and Electronic Arts/Collegiate Licensing Company. The proposed settlement, which itself is now the subject of a major dispute, was intended to set aside a lawsuit based on the supposed unauthorized use of former players’ publicity rights (their names and likenesses) in the EA games and without compensation for said use. The NCAA never reached a similar deal with the plaintiffs.

Now the NCAA wants to protect itself from looming liability arising from its potential role in the unauthorized exploitation of student-athletes’ publicity rights. While settlement agreements typically withhold any admission of wrongdoing, it is likely that the NCAA fears great risk of having to pay out damages to those who believe their publicity rights were violated and a continuing obligation to pay costly legal fees.

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