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EA Sports "NCAA Football" lawsuit update: Lawyers gettin' paid

NCAA Football

The EA Sports/NCAA Football and Ed O'Bannon lawsuits were in the news again, followed dutifully by CBS Sports' Jon Solomon. There was a court filing today and Solomon offered new information as to just how all the settlement cash will be spent. Spoiler alert: the lawyers are getting paid.

Fifteen thousand dollars for the former Nebraska quarterback who forwarded the lawsuit, $8.58 million for his attorneys and $1.5 million to an analyst.

The "NCAA Football" franchise is dead, and the players who join the lawsuit that killed it will receive enough money to buy a new XBox on which they can not play the latest "NCAA Football."

Was it all worth it?

I say yes, Scott says no. Here, verbatim, are our thoughts from a year ago. They haven't changed, have yours?


Like many of you, I was obsessed with NCAA Football throughout middle school, high school and college. When my team had a tough Saturday on the field, I’d hop on NCAA and make things right. In high school, an argument among friends would be settled with a game of Florida State vs. Miami. In college, I drove to Wal-Mart and bought NCAA ’09 moments after its midnight release. My virtual dynasties at Notre Dame, N.C. State, Penn State and Oregon State are the virtual stuff of virtual legend. Without NCAA, I might’ve had to actually, I don’t know, go outside as a teenager.

When I read the news that those former players whom I played as years ago were due a settlement, my first reaction was, “Good for them.” We all bought those games to be Vince Young, Adrian Peterson and Tim Tebow (along with Oregon State’s four-time Heisman Trophy-winning running back Andre Jacobson, but that’s beside the point.) I’m caught in the middle of this ongoing amateurism debate consuming college sports right now. I think a full scholarship plus room and board, food, books, gear, tutoring and all the extra stuff is a tremendous payment for a college athlete to receive. Somewhere between 91 and 99 percent of the time (all numbers approximate), a university invests more in a student-athlete than a student-athlete gives back in return. But jersey sales and video games – especially video games – stretch beyond the benefit a university provides a football or basketball player, and those virtual cash registers who double as college football and basketball players in real life deserve a benefit in return that stretches beyond the value of a traditional scholarship.


I’ll start with the fact that I’m a capitalist at heart, and with the further notation that I believe the world would generally be a better place if people sat down and worked out their differences face to face rather than allowing the attorneys to rack up millions of dollars in fees over some issues that truly never should have gone before a court. With that said, I’ve said all along that players just don’t understand how little their likeness is truly worth. I believe that when the players find out that their payout from the EA settlement is likely to be less than $1,000 they are going to be furious; but it’s going to be a necessary wakeup call. Listen, I fully understand and agree that without the players there would be no college football, but I also caution the players that without TV revenue very, very few of these guys would have their four or five years of college life (and education) paid for and almost none of them, in my opinion, would go on to make the future income that they have the opportunity to in the NFL under the current structure. Yes, I’m going with the proverbial, “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” and “the grass isn’t always greener”.

I’d like to bring up one further point, Ed O’Bannon’s name will forever be tied to this case. I have absolutely no idea if he funded any of the attorneys’ bills, but I see that he is scheduled to get a $15,000 settlement. $15,000. I read somewhere that the attorneys will receive 33% of the proposed settlement (hence $13.33 million) plus $2.5 million in expense reimbursement. So the attorneys will get paid over $15 million for their time and effort. Think about that, folks.

In summary, I think the players need to have a voice at the table (and some wise counseling), but I hope in the future they are able to work with powers that be rather than being led down a very long and litigious trail that ultimately doesn’t help the players nearly as much as it helps the attorneys.