It's not the big college football amateurism case that you're paying attention to, but the smaller case over the old EA Sports NCAA Football video game has finally been resolved. The NCAA will pay current and former players -- that's not a misprint, though the NCAA is trying to lawyer it's way out of that one -- $20 million to settle the lawsuit over the title. Explain how that's not really the case, NCAA legal man.
"Consistent with the terms of a court-approved settlement, the NCAA will allow a blanket eligibility waiver for any currently enrolled student-athletes who receive funds connected with the settlement," NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. "In no event do we consider this settlement pay for athletics performance."
Well, except for the fact that the players are getting paid because they were put in a video game based on their performance in athletics events, of course. Other than that, this is no way paying the players involved for athletics performances -- something that its very important for the NCAA to emphasize, given that the whole O'Bannon suit is still ongoing.
In all, about $60 million is being doled out in the legal challenges to the now-defunct game.
This case ended up being a sideshow to the larger O'Bannon case, which could completely recast the NCAA's rules about amateurism well beyond video games. That one will likely be fought to the bitter end up and wrapped up in years of appeals.