Male college athletes will share in a $60 million settlement with the NCAA and gamemaker Electronic Arts for use of athletes’ names and images in video games without consent.
The settlement of the antitrust class action was approved by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland Thursday.
The agreement calls for Electronic Arts to pay $40 million and the NCAA to pay $20 million.
The maximum benefit for an individual claim will be $7,026, according to the athletes’ attorney Steve Berman of Seattle.
“This landmark decision marks the first time student-athletes will be paid for the likeness or image, and stands as a huge victory in the ongoing fight for student-athletes’ rights, Berman said in a statement.
EA discontinued the NCAA series video games in 2013 because of the pending legal claims.
The athletes covered include any student-athlete on the rost of a Division 1 men’s football or men’s basketball team, whose team was included on EA video games released between May 2003 and September 2014.
More than 20,000 student-athletes filed claims based on an original deadline of July 2, but that was extended to July 31.
The lawsuit alleged the NCAA violated antitrust law by not permitting athletes to share in the revenues from the commercial use of their images in the video games.
The tentative deal was announced a year ago in the lawsuit brought by former Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller against EA and the Collegiate Licensing Co.
Case: Keller v. Electronic Arts, No. 09-cv-1967CW