As college football fans are well aware, the NCAA is in the middle of a set of profoundly ugly lawsuits over player rights and compensation. EA, not being dumb, has settled with the athletes, and in the process told them just how much being in a video game is actually worth.
The answer? F*** all. Well, $1000 per appearance, but to be fair, according to CBS Sports, EA has a lot of players to shell out for:
More than 100,000 current and former football and men’s basketball players have potential claims to money from a proposed $40 million settlement over the use of their names and likenesses in NCAA video games, according to a settlement filed Friday night. Some current college athletes will be eligible for payments, creating a scenario in which they are paid for use of their likeness while still a college athlete.
That’s notable because the NCAA hates players making money off their own image. It’s against the rules. After all, how are they going to exploit you and keep all the money when you’re cashing in?
Some players are getting more than others: Sam Keller, formerly of Nebraska and Arizona State, will collect $15,000. And this is just EA’s end of things; the NCAA is currently fighting for its right to exploit teenagers who can throw a ball in court, and that includes money from the video games it sold.
Mostly it means the legal sewage the NCAA is knee-deep in just started rising. The fact that EA took one look at the case, weighed its options, and settled is fairly damning. It doesn’t help that EA is going to verify players are eligible for the settlement by using the data they, uh, got from the NCAA’s own database. When you’re arguing that you’re not exploiting the name and image of players in court, having evidence that you were doing precisely that probably isn’t going to do much for your case.
But we’re sure it’ll be fine. After all, it’s about the athletes, right?