EA Sports and NCAA issue Settlement Checks

The NCAA and EA Sports took a step in the right direction, sending out checks to over 24,000 former players that was featured in both college football and basketball videos games. 

UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart and former Nebraska and Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller, are the main ones responsible for the $60 million settlement back in March. All three former players sued EA Sports and the NCAA for using their likeness in the NCAA branded video games back in 2009 and 2010. Each will receive a largest amounts; 23,390.89 for Keller, Hart will receive $16,478.09, and O’Bannon will receive 19,086.47.

Checks were distributed via a point system based on the amount of years the player was featured on in EA Sports college football and basketball games from 2003-04 to 2013-14. EA Sports discontinued their basketball series in 2009, while the football series final game was issued in 2013. 

Players went to twitter to thank the NCAA and EA Sports for their checks that range from as small as $100 to $9,000 some reports claim. 

USA Today reports that some current NFL players will be receiving checks as well, such as Clay Matthews, A.J. Green, and Kirk Cousins. This will be the first time that college players will recieve payment for their likeness and could be a sign of things to come. CBS reports that their are current student-athletes that could receive payment but school officials will not allow them to speak to reporters. 

Former Florida State Seminole, Tamarick Vanover, who was apart of the 1993 Florida State National Championship team, was not as happy as others saying this about the settlement, 

With the amount of games they sold, this is just a slap on the wrist. But, hey, it’s more money than I had yesterday. … I’m not complaining. It’s a nice surprise for me. It’s a nice piece of change.
— via USA Today

As a former gamer, to say I was disappointed when EA announced that they would no longer make their College Football series is an understatement. This settlement doesn't bring back my beloved College Football series but it's a small victory for college athletes against the establishment that is the NCAA. 

Others are not in favor of the players settlement or EA Sports discontinuing their game, NCAA Football to be exact. Many fans just want EA Sports to make the game once again. College Football analyst, Kirk Herbstreit was very vocal about the game being cancelled, saying that O'Bannon "ruined that for all of us". On twitter he engage with his followers, telling them that most players he spoke with did not care about compensation, they just wanted the game back. He offered this solution in an interview with SEC Country back in January, 

You know what they’d love for their compensation to be? Just give ‘em a free game. That’s the compensation that they would take. 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.
— via SECCountry.com

Herbstreit was an announcer on the game, so some may suggest he just want that check again but I have spoken with college athletes and have told me the same thing, they are happy to be apart of the game. Some would even like EA Sports to continue to make the game again, without the compensation. None the less, EA Sports will have to kick out some money if they do bring back the college series but they won't be short of potential buyers.