12:38 PM - April 10, 2013 by MMChrisS
You read that headline right. As the Ed O'Bannon vs. the NCAA lawsuit continues onwards in the courts, both sides are jockeying for what could be a blockbuster trial by next summer.
In a recently filed study, EA and the College Licensing Company (CLC) claim that less than 25% of all men's basketball and football players were actually represented in EA's college athletic video games with their correct height, weight, home state and position.
EA and the CLC, while arguing against the fact they don't use college athletes is claiming that they do in fact use some college athlete likenesses right down to their correct height, weight, home state and position. This seems highly counterproductive simply because we don't know the exact boundaries for how the study was done. If it required an exact match, then a player being 10-20 pounds too heavy or light would mean they weren't exactly represented, which seems to actually indicate more players than claimed are actually somewhat well represented within the game.
Earlier in the winter, it was revealed that some NCAA e-mails tend to indicate that they knew about the use (but not use) of players likenesses in all but name.
"The issue for me is that the names and likenesses are rigged into the games now by illegal means, meaning that many of the video game players have the features, it's just that our membership doesn't benefit from it," then NCAA Vice President Greg Shaheen wrote.
The e-mails also revealed that the NCAA and EA have looked at trying to find ways to include real player names into the games, with no definitive ways to pull that feat off just yet.
Thanks to the O'Bannon lawsuit, talk about whether to pay college football players is becoming a hot topic. This morning, Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops chimed in, "I don’t get why people say these guys don’t get paid. It’s simple, they are paid quite often, quite a bit and quite handsomely."
The O'Bannon and Sam Keller lawsuit alleges that the NCAA and EA Sports, amongst other entities, have been illegally profiting off of college athletes likenesses with no direct return to the athletes. This is an exceptionally important case which we have been following for several years now, as EA Sports stands to lose $1 billion if an unfavorable ruling for EA is handed down.
It is our position that if Keller and O'Bannon do prevail, college football video games will likely cease to exist due to much higher licensing costs and little return on investment.
Where do you stand on this case as of right now?