NCAA sues Electronic Arts over settlements with student-athletes

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has filed suit against NCAA Football publisher Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company over a proposed settlement with former college athletes regarding the use of the players' likenesses in EA's video games, according to a report from USA Today.

The NCAA's suit reportedly alleges that EA and the CLC breached certain contractual obligations related to maintaining liability insurance to protect against third-party claims and cover attorneys fees incurred defending against those claims.

The suit seeks to stop EA and the CLC from going through with a proposed settlement, which could cost EA upwards of $40 million. Additionally, the NCAA seeks to protect itself of liability in future judgments related to EA's NCAA titles.

The EA and CLC settlement would apply to both the antitrust and right-of-publicity suits that the publisher and licenser were facing. Former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon originally filed the antitrust suit, while the right-of-publicity suit was filed by Sam Keller, a former quarterback for Arizona State University and the University of Nebraska.

In a statement to USA Today, the CLC says it's "caught in the middle of a dispute between NCAA and EA which should not involve us."

In September, EA Sports announced it was canceling next year's NCAA Football game, saying it was evaluating the college football franchise's future.

"The ongoing legal issues combined with increased questions surrounding schools and conferences have left us in a difficult position — one that challenges our ability to deliver an authentic sports experience, which is the very foundation of EA Sports games," said Cam Weber, general manager of American football at EA Sports, at the time.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.