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Judge approves $60 million settlement in NCAA, EA Sports lawsuit

As expected, a settlement in the class-action lawsuit against the NCAA and Electronic Arts has been approved by a federal judge. The settlement, valued at $60 million, was formally approved Thursday. The same judge also ruled against the NCAA in the Ed O’Bannon case focused on the use of names, images and likenesses of college athletes. The NCAA, to the surprise of nobody, is appealing the decision.

Claims are still being filed by student-athletes past and present who may have appeared in any NCAA-licensed video game published by Electronic Arts under the EA Sports branch of the business. Those claims must be filed and approved by July 31 in order for a check to be made out to those players, and the amount of the payouts will vary depending on how many athletes file a claim.
“This landmark decision marks the first time student-athletes will be paid for the likeness or image, and stands as a huge victory in the ongoing fight for student-athletes’ rights,” Steve Berman, a Seattle-based attorney for the plaintiffs said in statement.

EA Sports has not published a title in its popular NCAA Football franchise since 2013. The company has been silent on the possibility of the game returning since shutting the project down, but fans are waiting to see when the time will come. Whether or not that day will come remains to be seen, and unless the company has been secretly working on the game behind closed doors, the earliest the game may return to store shelves or in online marketplaces may not be until 2017.

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