The Ed O'Bannon suit will go to trial on June 9th in Oakland, but unlike the NCAA, EA Sports has already seen the writing on the wall and cut their losses.
College football and basketball players have finalized a $40 million settlement with a video game manufacturer and the NCAA's licensing arm for improperly using the likenesses of athletes, leaving the NCAA alone to defend itself in the upcoming Ed O'Bannon antitrust trial.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs filed the settlement agreement with a federal court in Oakland, California, on Friday night in an action that could deliver up to $4,000 to as many as 100,000 current and former athletes who appeared in EA Sports basketball and football video games since 2003.
"I'm thrilled that for the first time in the history of college sports, athletes will get compensated for their performance," said Steve Berman, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. "It's pretty groundbreaking."
Depending on the number of athletes that sign up, the payments will still only range a few thousand dollars to each player. (23% of the settlement will go to the lawyers, natch.) Not enough to earn a living or anything, but still rather groundbreaking nonetheless.