• NCAA Settles Keller Lawsuit; EA Talks Conditions for NCAA Football Return

    As the O'Bannon lawsuit versus the NCAA continues, the NCAA has reached a $20M settlement with the plaintiffs in the Sam Keller lawsuit. The Keller case was to be heard in March 2015 and the settlement will distribute $20 million to “certain Division I men’s basketball and Division I Bowl Subdivision football student-athletes who attended certain institutions during the years the games were sold.”

    “With the games no longer in production and the plaintiffs settling their claims with EA and the Collegiate Licensing Company, the NCAA viewed a settlement now as an appropriate opportunity to provide complete closure to the video game plaintiffs,” said NCAA Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy.

    Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company finalized a $40M settlement with a series of plaintiffs in late May.

    The O'Bannon lawsuit does not feature the plantiffs looking for monetary damages, but rather changes to the current collegiate model. Continue on for more on this lawsuit as well as comments from Peter Moore on what it would take for the NCAA Football franchise to return.

    SI.com legal expert Michael McCann offered his thoughts on why the NCAA may have settled in the case:

    - Game Informer visited with EA SPORTS Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore and asked what it would take for the NCAA Football franchise to return:

    "We've always said that we'd monitor the situation," Moore says.

    We asked if there were specific things that would signal an all-clear to pursue the franchise again. "The development teams need to understand what they can and cannot do, and then it becomes a financial thing," Moore tells us. "If it costs you more to develop and pay for the players and what have you than you believe that you can sell, that's not fair to the [development] teams. They need to have an ongoing concern."

    In order to get to the point where EA is looking at costs though, Moore expects that systemic change would be necessary across the multi-billion dollar college sports industry. "I think this thing gets bigger than us and our industry before it settles itself down," he says. "We'll step back and watch this thing develop."


    UPDATE - From testimony at the O'Bannon v. NCAA lawsuit on Wednesday:

    Joel Linzner of Electronic Arts, which suspended its successful football video game series after being sued for not paying former players whose images it was accused of using without permission, said yesterday the company would welcome resurrecting the product.

    “If there was an economically efficient way to do it and no rules prohibited it, we would be interested,” Linzner said.


    - ESPN has written a lengthy piece on "Why You Should Know (Judge) Claudia Wilken."

    - Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delaney believes that the existing lawsuits versus the NCAA will be settled in two to three years.
    Comments 76 Comments
    1. steelerfan's Avatar
      steelerfan -
      Certainly not the optimism we'd like to hear. However the door remains open, which is all that fans of the series can hope for at this stage.

      I'm certainly not optimistic and I've filled the hours I used to spend on NCAA with other interests. I'd like to see it back someday but, if not, life goes on.

      Thanks for sharing this, cdj.
    1. jaymo76's Avatar
      jaymo76 -
      Based on Moore's comment I would be willing to say the NCAA may NEVER come back to video games.
    1. JeffHCross's Avatar
      JeffHCross -
      Quote Originally Posted by jaymo76 View Post
      Based on Moore's comment I would be willing to say the NCAA may NEVER come back to video games.
      I knew it was going to go away eventually, though I didn't expect it when it did. I've thought for a while that the model we had with NCAA and Madden wasn't sustainable. I believe that if licensed NCAA teams and/or players returns it will be in a game that combines both into one title. Much like the NHL and FIFA series have multiple levels of leagues in one title.
    1. souljahbill's Avatar
      souljahbill -
      Easy fix. Super generic/random player and numbers and keep making teams based on styles.
    1. JBHuskers's Avatar
      JBHuskers -
      Quote Originally Posted by souljahbill View Post
      Easy fix. Super generic/random player and numbers and keep making teams based on styles.
      Editing would probably have to be removed though.
    1. souljahbill's Avatar
      souljahbill -
      Doesn't bother me. I play Dynasty anyway. All my players are fake.

      I rather have a game with real schools and fake players than no game at all.
    1. JBHuskers's Avatar
      JBHuskers -
      Quote Originally Posted by souljahbill View Post
      Doesn't bother me. I play Dynasty anyway. All my players are fake.

      I rather have a game with real schools and fake players than no game at all.
      I would love to see it. And you're right. I'd be fine with it too.
    1. Deuce's Avatar
      Deuce -
      Quote Originally Posted by souljahbill View Post
      Doesn't bother me. I play Dynasty anyway. All my players are fake.

      I rather have a game with real schools and fake players than no game at all.



      Posted With Tapatalk
    1. jaymo76's Avatar
      jaymo76 -
      Quote Originally Posted by souljahbill View Post
      Doesn't bother me. I play Dynasty anyway. All my players are fake.

      I rather have a game with real schools and fake players than no game at all.
      +1,000,000!!!
    1. SmoothPancakes's Avatar
      SmoothPancakes -
      Amen. I've been running my same dynasty thread here since NCAA '12. NCAA '13 and '14, when I changed teams in the coaching carousel at the end of the previous edition of the game, I just straight up auto-named the rosters and jumped right in. I couldn't have cared less about player names. They don't matter one damn bit anyways once you get past season 4 of a dynasty.

      Posted With Tapatalkbecause I'm a lazy ass
    1. JBHuskers's Avatar
      JBHuskers -
      I'm afraid they wouldn't be able to make teams based on styles though. That could be perceived as using likeness, I just have a feeling.
    1. souljahbill's Avatar
      souljahbill -
      Quote Originally Posted by JBHuskers View Post
      I'm afraid they wouldn't be able to make teams based on styles though. That could be perceived as using likeness, I just have a feeling.
      I think they can get away with that. Styles come from the coaches, not the players. Oregon is gonna have a fast QB and skill players running spread option. Doesn't matter if it's QB #2 or QB #9.

      EA can even autoname the on-disc roster just to make sure it's not a likeness issue. A former player can't sue just because the virtual QB is fast like they are in real life.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      They said it could take 2-3 years for the lawsuits to wrap up. Hopefully it's sooner than that.
    1. Unconquered's Avatar
      Unconquered -
      I haven't been following this saga as closely as others, but why would EA have to remove the ability to edit players from any future game?

      I can understand that by default the players would have to be completely randomized, but why can't the community be allowed to edit rosters? That seems too harsh to me.

      I thought the main issue was that the games shipped with default rosters that bore too much of a resemblance to the players' real-life counterparts.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      ^Exactly. Doesn't PES allow for full customization without licenses?
    1. bdoughty's Avatar
      bdoughty -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rudy View Post
      ^Exactly. Doesn't PES allow for full customization without licenses?
      To an extent, it is built around letting you change things, as there has never been a share feature that I am aware of. People just started taking their files online for others to download and then copy over to the console.

      For example

      Brings back memories of buying the old Datel Card to get rosters from the internet. I can just see it now, people sending off their consoles or hard drives to a roster maker because the process is too complex for them.
    1. CLW's Avatar
      CLW -
      Old news I posted this settlement info like 2 weeks ago in the other thread.

      Guys the NCAA series is DEAD unless:

      #1 The NCAA reverses course and allows EA to pay the players for their likeness AND EA can find a $ amount that makes the series profitable

      #2 The NCAA collapses and whatever system ensues allows payers to be played AND EA can find a $ amount that makes the series profitable

      Moore focused on the AND.... portion and it reads like he does NOT think the NCAA series would be profitable -- hell the basketball series wasn't even w/o having to pay the players so having to pay the football players might just not make sense for EA.
    1. TIMB0B's Avatar
      TIMB0B -
      Quote Originally Posted by CLW View Post
      Old news I posted this settlement info like 2 weeks ago in the other thread.

      Guys the NCAA series is DEAD unless:

      #1 The NCAA reverses course and allows EA to pay the players for their likeness AND EA can find a $ amount that makes the series profitable

      #2 The NCAA collapses and whatever system ensues allows payers to be played AND EA can find a $ amount that makes the series profitable

      Moore focused on the AND.... portion and it reads like he does NOT think the NCAA series would be profitable -- hell the basketball series wasn't even w/o having to pay the players so having to pay the football players might just not make sense for EA.
      What if they did it as a portion of the stipend players are wanting?

      Also, couldn't they focus a RTG game at least?


      Posted With Tapatalk
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      Update: EA Executive Backs NCAA Athletes at Licensing Rules Trial

      Joel Linzner of Electronic Arts, which suspended its successful football video game series after being sued for not paying former players whose images it was accused of using without permission, said yesterday the company would welcome resurrecting the product.

      He was called as a witness by athletes who are asking a federal judge in Oakland, California, to order the NCAA to allow them to license their names and images so that they can share in the billions of dollars generated by their games, mostly through television broadcasts.

      “If there was an economically efficient way to do it and no rules prohibited it, we would be interested,” Linzner said.

      “The NCAA made clear in its agreements with Electronic Arts that the company could not use the name, image or likeness of NCAA football and basketball players in its video games,” Bob Williams, an NCAA spokesman, said in a statement. “Despite repeated requests” by Electronic Arts for permission to use students’ names, images and likenesses, “the NCAA membership refused to change its policy,” he said.

      On cross-examination, Linzner was asked if Electronic Arts used the names and likenesses of real student athletes in its games. “We did not believe we did, but there are plenty of plaintiffs’ attorneys here who believe we did,” he said.
    1. JBHuskers's Avatar
      JBHuskers -
      Quote Originally Posted by bdoughty View Post
      To an extent, it is built around letting you change things, as there has never been a share feature that I am aware of. People just started taking their files online for others to download and then copy over to the console.

      For example

      Brings back memories of buying the old Datel Card to get rosters from the internet. I can just see it now, people sending off their consoles or hard drives to a roster maker because the process is too complex for them.
      Kaldenberg just got a boner.