The NCAA is under fire for its use of player likenesses without offering compensation, but it has decided to strike back by suing both EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company, according to ESPN.com.
Per the report, EA Sports and the CLC already settled $40 million worth of lawsuits for using player likenesses, but they did so without involving the NCAA.
This has left the NCAA vulnerable to a pair of class-action lawsuits filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon as well as former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller.
Not only is the NCAA hoping to block the settlement that was reached by EA Sports and the CLC, but it is also seeking to have EA Sports pay for future legal costs stemming from such lawsuits.
According to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, the NCAA believes the CLC has acted unlawfully based on the agreement between the two entities:
In the suit filed in Georgia (CLC is headquartered in Atlanta), the NCAA alleges that EA and CLC reached the settlement "without notice to the NCAA" and that "despite the NCAA's repeated requests," they have refused to provide information to the NCAA regarding the settlement. According to the NCAA, CLC is required to do so under the terms of its licensing contract with the NCAA, and EA is required to indemnify the NCAA.
Despite that, CLC spokesman Andrew Giangola said it has been unfairly included in an issue it has nothing to do with:
CLC is caught in the middle of a dispute between NCAA and EA which should not involve us. CLC has valued relationships with both the NCAA and EA and while we hope they can soon resolve their dispute, we see no reason for CLC to be involved.
The NCAA has been at odds with EA Sports and the CLC for quite some time. According to Chip Patterson of CBS Sports, it was announced back in September that EA Sports would not produce an NCAA Football 15 video game next year.
General manager of American football for EA Sports Cam Weber cited pending lawsuits as the reason behind the decision:
We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football. Just like companies that broadcast college games and those that provide equipment and apparel, we follow rules that are set by the NCAA—but those rules are being challenged by some student-athletes.
A college basketball video game hasn't been produced since NCAA Basketball 10, so all signs point to a marketplace void of collegiate sports video games moving forward.
Gamers certainly hoped that all parties involved could work something out, but with the NCAA suing EA Sports and the CLC, it is very difficult to envision that happening at this point.
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