Home
News Post


The 'other' college athlete lawsuit against EA Sports has suddenly received new life as a Federal Appeals Court struck down a decision that said EA Sports had First Amendment Rights to college athlete likenesses via artistic expression.

In a 2-1 decision, the suit now has new life and will likely continue to move up the courts.

From the Kotaku Article: "The digital Ryan Hart does what the actual Ryan Hart did while at Rutgers," wrote Judge Joseph Greenaway, for the 2-1 majority. "He plays college football, in digital recreations of college football stadiums, filled with all the trappings of a college football game ... [t]he various digitized sights and sounds in the video game do not alter or transform the appelant's identity in a significant way."

Hart's complaint is similar to the Ed O'Bannon and Sam Keller case which is currently at the Federal Level and which is expected to reach the Supreme Court eventually. Keller and O'Bannon's case will get a class action certification ruling in the coming weeks. If the class action suit is certified, all players past and present who have had likenesses in college sports video games could stand to receive some compensation and the fundamental structures of the NCAA could be forced to change. College sports video games themselves would be financial jeopardy at that point as well.

Needless to say, both EA and the NCAA have legal departments working a lot of hours these days.

Member Comments
# 1 brahmagoul @ 05/23/13 11:00 AM
I highly doubt anyone bought NCAA football to play as Ryan Hart.
 
# 2 ranman1982 @ 05/23/13 11:04 AM
There is an easy way to fix this problem. EA and the NCAA put a set percentage of profit into a bank account. When a player is done with college, no matter what position, gets a check in the mail for their participation in the game.
 
# 3 ajaxab @ 05/23/13 11:08 AM
Brahmagoul beat me to it. Cue the next comment about that washed up scrub Sam Keller...

This has nothing to do with Ryan Hart or Sam Keller. It's about the fundamental question of whether the NCAA has the right to generate obscene profits from so-called 'student-athletes.' It's about the asymmetrical power relations between the NCAA and the athletes who work to line its pockets. Blaming Hart or Keller is a red herring in this argument.
 
# 4 IlluminatusUIUC @ 05/23/13 11:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranman1982
There is an easy way to fix this problem. EA and the NCAA put a set percentage of profit into a bank account. When a player is done with college, no matter what position, gets a check in the mail for their participation in the game.
That's neither easy nor a complete fix.
 
# 5 dghustla @ 05/23/13 01:37 PM
Growing up I was a huge Ed O'Bannon Fan enjoyed watching him in college. Now that he has squandered his chance in the NBA and blew all his money he is desperately trying anything he can to get easy $. He was given a free education to a top university and did nothing with that. The fault is his own. I don't think the NCAA or EA owes this guy anything. UCLA already provided Mr. O'Bannon with $129,660+ in education not even factoring in medical treatment, travel expenses, sporting equipment, etc. Ed I think it's time to get a real job bro.
 
# 6 ajaxab @ 05/23/13 01:57 PM
I just don't follow the anger directed at Hart and O'Bannon. Again, this isn't about either of them. It isn't about what they achieved or didn't achieve as pros. That has nothing to do with the lawsuit. It's a red herring. The lawsuit has to do with whether or not EA was intentional in using likenesses of amateur players to make money. That is the issue that needs to be addressed, not the nature of the people bringing the lawsuit.
 
# 7 dghustla @ 05/23/13 02:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseySuave4
And those angry at Hart or O'Bannon are just young and naive. Just because it affects a video game you play doesn't make what they're saying not true. It's wrong for people to blatantly be exploited and people to continue to make money off of these athletes. People just think that these are college athletes that couldn't hack it as pros and are broke and looking for a money grab. They're not smart enough to realize there are Hall of Fame athletes, for pros who are financially set who are also a part of these lawsuits. This isn't just about video games. There is a broader aspect than just video games. This would spread to jerseys and everything else these schools make off of the athletes and whether or not college athletes should get paid.
It has everything to do with these guys they are spear heading the lawsuit. Colleges don't sell jerseys with the players name on the back. Although they can be obtain via making a custom jersey online. They sell the number. If I buy a #5 Canes' jersey it could be Mike James, Edriggin James, or any of the other great players who've worn that number. You should read what Bob Stoops had to say about paying these amateur athletes. Ed O'Bannon was given the opportunity of a life time. He was given a free education (current 4 year value of $129,660+ as stated above), top of the line health care, travel expense and the chance to live his dream (and many other's dream as well). In the end it didn't work out. Which is fine but to come back almost 20 years later with your handout reeks of desperation. When he signed with UCLA he understood the agreement of services as an athlete participating in the NCAA. And if he didn't he should have hired an attorney then. When he joined the NCAA he had no problem playing "for free" as some might call it. Now that he is broke he wants to change the rules.
 
# 8 dghustla @ 05/23/13 02:32 PM
You say it's not about being broke... Ed O'Bannon's rookie contract was a 3 year $3.9 million deal. 16 years later he suing EA to get his hands on a few thousand.
 
# 9 chi_hawks @ 05/23/13 02:40 PM
this whole thing is ridiculous - former players looking for a dime. MIght as well sue their old schools for "exploiting" them and making profit from tickets sold to customes who wanted to see them play.
 
# 10 elgreazy1 @ 05/23/13 03:35 PM
JerseySuave dropping some knowledge!! Thanks for enlightening these young bucks.

Again, it's not about XYZ players getting money because they're broke, it's about protecting student athletes who are exploited in all facets by big corporations and their colleges.
 
# 11 dghustla @ 05/23/13 04:06 PM
So based on that study I should believe that a Redshirt Freshman OLineman at Florida who won't play a single snap should be paid more than a 3 year NFL veteran minimum? You can't compare the NFLPA decertifying and suing the owners to this. Ed O'Bannon is not a member of a union. The article above even states that his case has not gone through Class Action Certification. One thing that study doesn't account for is cost of tutors, nutrition, physicians all provided by the school for the student athlete. Nor did they represent any finical factors to account for these players gaining preferential treatment and requirement exemption during the admissions process. 50% of those Basketball players and Football players couldn't get into those colleges without special rules based on their athletic scholarship status. The kids may be steered in a direction for their major but ultimately they make the choice. And lets be honest most of these kids are only going for sports they choose to stick to the easy majors.
 
# 12 chi_hawks @ 05/23/13 04:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by elgreazy1
JerseySuave dropping some knowledge!! Thanks for enlightening these young bucks.

Again, it's not about XYZ players getting money because they're broke, it's about protecting student athletes who are exploited in all facets by big corporations and their colleges.
These kids don't have to accept the scholarship and the 40-50k per year in clothing/food/tuition/travel/ammenities/board/etc.... it entitles. I think this whole thing is silly. You can show me their real "market worth" - doesn't matter. Pretty sure their scholarship says they must maintain amatuer status to remain on the team. Part of amatuer status isn't getting your market value in US currency. If they want that - let em go pro.
 
# 13 kingsofthevalley @ 05/23/13 04:31 PM
I dont see why anyone is stressing over this thinking NCAA is going to stop being made if EA loses the case. EA is still going to have the deal with NCAA overall for the teams. All they have to do is make sure the players are randomly generated which I highly doubt is difficult to do as they're all randomly generated after the first season in dynasty anyway.
 
# 14 Rasco11 @ 05/23/13 05:02 PM
I think Reggie Miller should sue Ed O'Bannon and stake his claim to the bald #31 on UCLA!
 
# 15 dghustla @ 05/23/13 05:02 PM
Damn Jersey we were having an intelligent conversation before you had to throw in personal attacks.
You said:
"O'Bannon's name is the main one on the lawsuit in the same way Tom Brady's name was the one on the lawsuit when the players sued the NFL during the lockout. "

IDK that looks like a comparison to me considering you used the phrase "in the same way".

Bill Russell and Oscar Robinson were not members of an NCAA institution when their likenesses were used without consent and should be compensated.

These are not stereotypes. Are you denying that Athletes get preferential and reduced enrollment requirements based on their athletic scholarship status?

Last year the 3rd string QB at OSU caught heat for saying that he wasn't at OSU to attend classes. He has no shot at the NFL and even he feels that way. I didn't say all athletes fit that mold.

Now looking at the chart Kevin Durant was at Texas for barely 6 months before he bolted to the NBA. So you feel he should have been paid $125,000 per month while he was a "student athlete"? The university gave him the scholie, and exposure to promote himself and his talent on a national stage what is the value of that? I hear you saying what the athletes do for the school. But how does Kevin Durant become the #2 pick in the draft without UTexas brand's exposure? How much more marketable was Durant because he played at Texas instead of Depaul? Do we ever hear of Ed O'Bannon if he enrolls at Cal Poly?
The athletes are getting more than their fair share.
 
# 16 ncaafootball14markus @ 05/23/13 05:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by elgreazy1
JerseySuave dropping some knowledge!! Thanks for enlightening these young bucks.

Again, it's not about XYZ players getting money because they're broke, it's about protecting student athletes who are exploited in all facets by big corporations and their colleges.
then FRIGGIN SUE the university you attended. why are you suing a video gaming industry for a few thousand dollars?!?
 
# 17 Rasco11 @ 05/23/13 06:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseySuave4
if you think this lawsuit is for a few thousand dollars then you're crazy. This lawsuit is worth BILLIONS. The implications from this lawsuit are huge because it will become the foundation for future lawsuits. The call to compensate college athletes is getting stronger so don't think this is just some small money grab at EA.

This is bigger than EA, this is bigger than a video game.
I agree with this statement. However, morally I have to say: the hypocrisy of the NCAA and their multi-layered (role in) explotation of these "STUDENT" athletes far exceeds any "wrong-doing" of any shoe company producing numbered jerseys, t-shirts, EA, or other video game company. Truth is the Universities profit the most from these athletes, and these other companies merely play a minor role (annual merchandising, advertising, marketing, etc.) in the grand scheme. The thing that rubs me the wrong way with these lawsuits is that they fail to strike at the true core of the issue: The NCAA!!!
 
# 18 mcpats @ 05/23/13 08:13 PM
I don't understand how playing a video game is worse than watching a game on TV. When I watch a Duke-UNC game on television, I can see the players faces with their names on their jerseys in pure high definition. Sure, I want to see great players competing, but I mostly tune in because it's Duke-UNC. The actual players are secondary. Same with college sports video games. I want to play as the schools, and for authenticity if some fans want to edit the rosters to match the players real names, what's the difference? I don't buy a game because it has a player that looks kind of like Ryan Hart from Rutgers. I buy for the collective collegiate experience. Start by suing the TV stations, the videogame makers are an unfair first target. TV is where all those billions come from.
 
# 19 elgreazy1 @ 05/24/13 01:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by chi_hawks
These kids don't have to accept the scholarship and the 40-50k per year in clothing/food/tuition/travel/ammenities/board/etc.... it entitles. I think this whole thing is silly. You can show me their real "market worth" - doesn't matter. Pretty sure their scholarship says they must maintain amatuer status to remain on the team. Part of amatuer status isn't getting your market value in US currency. If they want that - let em go pro.
Yes, they receive scholarships, but did you know, these scholarships aren't guaranteed for 4 years? Instead, these scholarships are for 4, 1 year deals, meaning that a student can have their scholarship revoked at any time. Imagine being a junior and finding out your scholarship was revoked so Coach can give it to an incoming freshman, juco, walk-on, etc. You're a kid, most likely coming from a family without the means to pay for college, and you've just lost the only means in which for you to be able to attend school.

What do you do now as this student athlete? Try to afford said education while now having to incur tuition, room & board, books, etc. while also continuing to play sports (the main reason you came to said college) and having to hold down a job? Not so easy. You claimed they could enter the draft. Well, what if a students overall goal was not to make it to the pros - or in the case of some female athletes, there are no pros! - and instead you actually wanted to earn a degree towards a real career. The task becomes even more complicated

The whole collegiate system has been twisted to exploit these kids whether that be a stud at a powerhouse football program or a marginal player on a softball team. While I agree, they are very fortunate to have free money thrown at them to play sports while in school, one also has to take into account these are kids 18-23 and are signing their rights away to a massive, money making, lawyer-backed machine that is the NCAA & their corporate bedfellows. This isn't just regulated to video games, it's apparel sales, marketing materials, promotional campaigns, etc.
 
# 20 IlluminatusUIUC @ 05/24/13 03:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by chi_hawks
These kids don't have to accept the scholarship and the 40-50k per year in clothing/food/tuition/travel/ammenities/board/etc.... it entitles. I think this whole thing is silly. You can show me their real "market worth" - doesn't matter. Pretty sure their scholarship says they must maintain amatuer status to remain on the team. Part of amatuer status isn't getting your market value in US currency. If they want that - let em go pro.
That's not the scholarship rule, that's an NCAA rule and it is not replicated anywhere else in the academic system. If a kid earns a merit scholarship for academics, there's nothing preventing him from also holding down a job. There's also nothing preventing Nike from paying a kid's tuition to go learn marketing. But if he's an athlete that's no longer allowed.
 

« Previous12Next »

Post A Comment
Only OS members can post comments
Please login or register to post a comment.