Judge Rules NCAA Owes Athletes $60 Million in Lawsuit

A U.S. judge ruled Friday that the NCAA and EA Sports owe student-athletes $60 million for use of their likenesses in video games. 

The class-action lawsuit was initiated in 2009 by a group of football players who felt their likenesses were being used in NCAA Football video games published by EA Sports. The series never used names or pictures of athletes, but the usage of information such as height, weight, facial structure, skin tone, hometown and past statistics were enough for the judge to determine a violation had occurred. 

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken approved the settlement to any student-athletes whose likeness appeared in NCAA Football and Basketball video games over the history of these series. This case kept the games off shelves since 2013, in order to avoid further violations. 

The case allows an individual to claim a maximum of $7,026, and they must do so by July 31st. 

With the NCAA constantly under fire for rights of student-athletes, especially in the "pay for play" discussion, this is a major win for student-athletes who may seek further compensation in the future. No word yet if the NCAA is planning an appeal. 

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