Details of the Keller Settlement Submitted for Approval
A proposed settlement filed on June 30 could allow up to $20,000 for several football and men’s basketball players whose names, images, and likenesses were used in NCAA-themed video games. The filing contains the details of a $20 million deal announced in early June between the NCAA and the plaintiffs led by Sam Keller, a former Arizona State and Nebraska football player. The proposed terms are closely related to the previously announced $40 million settlement by EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) that would end four other lawsuits involving video games.
According to Keller’s motion asking for presiding Judge Claudia Wilken’s approval, the combined $60 million accounts for about 75 percent of his legal team’s target winning in court. Judge Wilken was scheduled to hold a hearing about the proposed settlement on July 3.
If she approves, the deal would limit a player’s settlement amount at $5,000 per appearance year in the game as an avatar. But, if the player’s photograph was used, he would get additional $5,000 per appearance year for the use. Furthermore, the filing also said the NCAA could withdraw its offer if at least 1,000 potential beneficiaries of the deal decide to opt out and reserve their right to sue. Any residual balance of the settlement funds would be distributed to class members who did not submit a claim at basic rate of $500 per year in which their images or likenesses were used. If the funds still remains after five years, the money would become a scholarship to help potential claimants to finish college or to return to college.
In a statement, the NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said that the terms
“signifies an opportunity to provide complete closure to the video game plaintiffs, but should not be considered pay for performance.”