As a result of ongoing legal problems, the NCAA has filed a lawsuit against Electronic Arts and their licensing parter the Collegiate Licensing Company. In the suit the they are claiming that both EA and CLC have breached their contracts with the NCAA.
More details via CBS Sports:
The suit claims CLC “failed to adequately supervise” EA’s “contractual obligations” in the making of EA’s video games and in maintaining liability insurance to cover “pending third-party claims.”
As a result, the suit claims, the CLC and EA “subject the NCAA to potential liability in several lawsuits currently being litigated relating to EA’s alleged use of NCAA student athletes’ names, images, and likenesses in EA’s NCAA-themed video games.”
EA and the CLC settled with thousands of former student-athletes in September for a sum approaching $40 million. A CLC spokesman said in a statement Wednesday that the “dispute” lied “between NCAA and EA” and should not involve his company.
The suit again reiterates that the NCAA did not approve the use of any student-athletes’ likenesses in EA’s videogames.
“When EA contracted for the license of the NCAA’s and the NCAA’s member institutions’ intellectual property for use in the video games, EA expressly agreed not to include student athlete names and likenesses in the football and basketball video games,” the suit claims.
Those claims were the impetus for the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, which originally sought compensation for the use of those likenesses by EA but now has become a class-action suit that could challenge the NCAA’s rules concerning revenue distribution across college athletics.
I find it odd that the NCAA is claiming they were misrepresented when the game has been out for so many years. Either way the NCAA could have a legitimate case if they can prove that they never approved EA to use the names and likenesses of the student athletes.