NCAA/EA Split Not Enough for "Exploited" Students

NCAA/EA Split Not Enough for "Exploited" Students

NCAA Football 14 screen

Lawyers representing students suing the NCAA say the organization is "ducking its responsibilities."

One of the more surprising developments to come out of the gaming industry recently is the announcement that National College Athletic Assocation, or NCAA, has decided not to renew its long running licensing deal with Electronic Arts. Citing the "current business climate and costs of litigation," the organization opted to let the license lapse. The future, in turn, will see more college sports titles from EA, but lacking the NCAA trademark and the brand power it brings with it. This split may be unfortunate for EA but for some it represents progress in the right direction.

For instance, there are more than a few inferring that the "costs of litigation" mentioned by the NCAA are likely referring to lawsuits brought against the organization by players unhappy with the group profiting from their likenesses without permission. For those involved in the case, this move by the NCAA is a sign that their efforts are working. "It's apparent to us that the NCAA's decision to end its long and hugely profitable relationship with EA is tied directly to the pressure our litigation is bringing [to] bear," commented Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, a legal firm behind one of the lawsuits against the NCAA.

Even if the NCAA is starting to sweat, however, its actions don't amount to victory in Berman's eyes. "This announcement makes plain that the NCAA is attempting to mitigate the damage by ducking its responsibilities." In other words, the NCAA dropped the licensing deal hoping to get out of the bills it will have to pay if suits like those being pushed by Hagens Berman are successful. According to Berman, such evasions aren't going to cut it. "The cabal between the NCAA and EA has exploited student athletes for years, using their images in video games without compensation," said Berman. "While we are heartened they've stopped the practice, we believe they owe those student athletes a great deal more than their implied promise to stop stealing their images."

Source: Hagens Berman

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The NCAA using loopholes to exploit athletes? And giving them practically nothing? *gasp*

Next you'll say EA is bad to its customers! What a world we would live in if that was true! /sarcasm

Did anyone really expect college sports to be on the up and up? Anyone who has a casual glance at college sports would see a lot of legal loop holes and exploitation.

Don't college athletes sign contracts explicitly stating that the NCAA and their colleges can use their names/likenesses to promote and merchandise the sport for profit, and in exchange the students get scholarships?

Azuaron:
Don't college athletes sign contracts explicitly stating that the NCAA and their colleges can use their names/likenesses to promote and merchandise the sport for profit, and in exchange the students get scholarships?

The scholarship bit is kind of a lie. A brutal lie. True scholarships are so few and far between you'd be likely to end up sharing your scholarship with your team in certain divisions.

The reason being is that sure a scholarship is 10,000$, but they don't tell you its a shared scholarship. Bigger teams, bigger sports mean you get paid what amounts to spare change. You'd be giving away your money to incoming freshmen.

Even then, scholarships are so easy to lose on a whim that you aren't guaranteed to be at the school for more than a single year.

http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2012/05/ncaa_scholarship_rules_it_s_morally_indefensible_that_athletic_scholarships_can_be_yanked_after_one_year_for_any_reason_.html
http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2013/07/ncaa_transfer_rule_college_coaches_can_block_their_former_players_from_getting.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/sports/10scholarships.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Its not really that simple. Sports and scholarships are so full of caveats its hard to not be offended at these practices. Its been known the NCAA exploits athletes to the point people jokingly call them slaves. Honestly, how could anyone blame them when college sports is far from amateur, and earning so much money under the guise its in the same boat as little leagues?

This reminds me that I should watch the Crack Baby episode of Southpark again.

I'm not really sure how much of a proverbial leg to stand on the players have here, if they're suing for having their likeness' used. Last NCAA football game I played (and, granted, it's been a good 4 years) had about 6 different player models, and they didn't look like any player I'd ever seen. And I follow college football religiously.

About the closest I've noticed is that, say, your team has a black starting QB, the nameless QB of the team will be black and share the same number. Still, looks nothing like the real person. Maybe it's different if you're playing Florida during the Tebow era, but I've never noticed a recognizable player.

ChildofGallifrey:
I'm not really sure how much of a proverbial leg to stand on the players have here, if they're suing for having their likeness' used. Last NCAA football game I played (and, granted, it's been a good 4 years) had about 6 different player models, and they didn't look like any player I'd ever seen. And I follow college football religiously.

About the closest I've noticed is that, say, your team has a black starting QB, the nameless QB of the team will be black and share the same number. Still, looks nothing like the real person. Maybe it's different if you're playing Florida during the Tebow era, but I've never noticed a recognizable player.

It's not so much the visual likenesses they are suing for so much as it is the skill likenesses. It's largely established that the player ratings are set to resemble the skillsets of players on the actual teams, and when you combine it with the numbers and classes, it's pretty obvious that 97 overall #2 redshirt sophomore Texas A&M QB is supposed to be Johnny Manziel, for example.

Jesus christ. Yanks will sue over anything eh?

"how dare they use my likeness" get over yourself

The hypocrisy is even deeper when poor athletes get in trouble for taking money (not scholarships) to play at a school. The schools make billions on them and that's okay but if a student wants to make the money that he's responsible for bringing in and the student is considered evil.

Also, while the NCAA has the right to use their likenesses and such to promote the sport, I don't think that they have the right to sell their likenesses.

Marak Daga:
Jesus christ. Yanks will sue over anything eh?

"how dare they use my likeness" get over yourself

Well blimey tea and crumpets mate, you'd really be ok with an organization selling your likeness and getting nothing in return?

I'm not a big fan of the NCAA and how it treats it's athletes. When you look at just how much money some of these star athletes bring in for their school it's just obscene. Take Tim Tebow for instance. Tebow brought in millions on top of millions of dollars for the University of Florida. During his time there they went from being the number 19th overall earning University to the third behind Texas and Notre Dame. What did Tim get for all the millions upon millions of dollars he was responsible for bring in and still brings in? He got a scholarship that is valued around a bit under 20,000 yearly and had he accepted so much as a free meal over that scholarship he would have likely been severely punished.

When I was in college I became friends with a somewhat well known football player who now plays pro ball and there were times I had to give him money just so he could take his girlfriend to dinner or a to a movie. He was dedicating close to every waking hour to the University and he was getting fuck all in return.

Compare that 20,000 scholarship to the money professional athletes make from their likeness. A third string player who has never stepped on the field during a game in the NFL makes a bare minimum of 355,000 dollars. On top of that they also get a small piece of things like Madden games and jersey sales as well as being free to seek out any endorsements they may be able to sign on for.

The fact is that the NCAA is royally screwing it's players and making billions of dollars while giving them peanuts in return and at the same time prohibiting them from making any other benefits on their own, financial or otherwise. It's pure exploitation. Meanwhile the NFL and NBA are complicit in all this as they use the college ranks as a minor league. College sports at their highest level exist as an example of corruption in it's purest form.

And with that said I need to go write a check for my Notre Dame football season tickets this year. . . . . . . .

Ultratwinkie:
The NCAA using loopholes to exploit athletes? And giving them practically nothing? *gasp*

Next you'll say EA is bad to its customers! What a world we would live in if that was true!

Dogs and cats living together!

...But yeah, this was pretty easy to ferret out on face value.

Marak Daga:
Jesus christ. Yanks will sue over anything eh?

"how dare they use my likeness" get over yourself

I'm sort of curious what country you come from where this isn't a thing, because it's not any first world nation.

I mean, given the use of "yank" here, I would guess you're British or Australian, but neither country would give you any leg to stand on.

Anyway, the point is: this isn't a "yank" thing and you might want to check to make sure you're not throwing stones from glass houses.

FoolKiller:
The hypocrisy is even deeper when poor athletes get in trouble for taking money (not scholarships) to play at a school. The schools make billions on them and that's okay but if a student wants to make the money that he's responsible for bringing in and the student is considered evil.

Since most will never go pro, maybe it's a solid life lesson for when they hit the real job market and 99% of employers will pay them a shite wage and then expect them to give 2000% so the company can have another record breaking year.

>.>

Nah, it's kinda crap. Just wanted to make a comment on exploitation being the American Way.

The NCAA is an evil fucked up orginization, we all know this and its not really big news.

What makes me mad is that even if any lawsuit actually works the NCAA wont give a fuck because their profits are so god damn obscene that they wont even notice whatever fine they need to pay. Then they'll go back to exploitin students and punihshin them for darin to try and make a buck off of their skills (because that's the NCAA's job).

PoolCleaningRobot:

Marak Daga:
Jesus christ. Yanks will sue over anything eh?

"how dare they use my likeness" get over yourself

Well blimey tea and crumpets mate, you'd really be ok with an organization selling your likeness and getting nothing in return?

I say, you made me guffaw enough to almost spill my tea. Right good. Carry on.

Fucking hell, I didn't know there was many cases of underpaid athletes at this level but apparently there is an entire monopoly on it worth billions :/

I don't know why these athletes are bitchin, its not like they won't make million if they get into the NFL. Are they gonna bitch when they are on the cover of Madden?

Tyranicus:
I don't know why these athletes are bitchin, its not like they won't make million if they get into the NFL. Are they gonna bitch when they are on the cover of Madden?

We can't all be rock stars, buddy. I don't know squat about American Football, but I think it's safe to say that not all of these students are going to get the chance to get into the NFL. You also seem to be under the false impression that it doesn't matter if people are making money off you illegitimately as long as you're famous and 'making millions' or whatever.

Marak Daga:
Jesus christ. Yanks will sue over anything eh?

"how dare they use my likeness" get over yourself

Exactly what third world country sweatshop are you from, then? Are you really okay with knowing that someone is making millions and millions of dollars off your likeness, that YOU should be earning, without giving anything close to proper compensation to you?
In any case, it's already been made damn well clear that they were exploiting these students, so this isn't even close to some ridiculous "oh no I spilled coffee over myself time to sue Starbucks" lawsuit that you're trying to relate it to.

Tyranicus:
I don't know why these athletes are bitchin, its not like they won't make million if they get into the NFL. Are they gonna bitch when they are on the cover of Madden?

And how many athletes really do? very few.

One of the biggest things from people who work with sports scholarships tell you that all these good athletes are wasting their time because the majority of them won't like what they get and they will be used and abused then dumped after one year.

Sports scholarships are not guaranteed in America. You can lose it just by being injured, even if its the coach's fault.

So you get 99.99% of them with huge debt and wasted time just to make the NCAA more billions. If we only cared about the 1%, no scholarship would exist because those kids could be big super stars and therefore "don't need it."

Tyranicus:
I don't know why these athletes are bitchin, its not like they won't make million if they get into the NFL.

Yes, the two percent of college players who will make it into the NFL might do pretty well. Sucks for the other ninety-eight percent, I suppose... all that effort and what do they get out of it?

College sports are a racket anyway, as far as I'm concerned, and I'd love to see them lose all their undeserved prestige and have colleges go back to being learning environments. The future of humankind will never be altered by a Bowl game.

hey, did anyone else notice that Lawyer's name? Steve Berman? any long-time Eminem fan should. i'm wondering if it's the same guy.

NCAA and most schools are non-profit. The money they receive goes into the schools and programs of the NCAA. That is thousands of other scholarships besides football, including academic, and money for other sports that do not make a profit.

How many scholarships, sports programs, academic programs, or university resources would be lost without this money?

To say the NCAA is making "billions" is an outright lie.
To say that Football takes away from academics is an outright lie.

But would also be a lie to say to say that college athletes are properly compensated.

There are companies that are wrongly making money off these athletes.

There is no easy solution in this. The bylaws of the NCAA were draft before college sports became a billion dollar industry, to keep a fair and mostly uncorrupted system for recruiting, training, and playing of the sports. For the most part these bylaws have worked.

NCAA is making progress, transitioning from Bowl games to Playoffs in 2014, so sponsors have less influence on the picking of teams.

I believe in time they will start releasing more money to players than just scholarships, but it has to be done correctly.

Article:
http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/NCAA/Answers/Nine+points+to+consider_one

Article:
http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/answers/eye+on+the+money
(Also check out the Financial Report, The NCAA publishes one every school year)

PoolCleaningRobot:

Marak Daga:
Jesus christ. Yanks will sue over anything eh?

"how dare they use my likeness" get over yourself

Well blimey tea and crumpets mate, you'd really be ok with an organization selling your likeness and getting nothing in return?

If by my likeness you mean a player model of roughly similar skin tone named "RB 08" id be fine with it. Its not like their likeness is being used in a donkey show. These guys are getting a free education worth tens of thousands. Im sure there is some exploitation there but every big organisation exploits its work force. No one was forced to accept a scholarship. They could always pay to go to college like the majority of their peers.

And most americans would lose their minds were they to try crumpets. They're the king of sundries.

bjj hero:

PoolCleaningRobot:

Marak Daga:
Jesus christ. Yanks will sue over anything eh?

"how dare they use my likeness" get over yourself

Well blimey tea and crumpets mate, you'd really be ok with an organization selling your likeness and getting nothing in return?

If by my likeness you mean a player model of roughly similar skin tone named "RB 08" id be fine with it. Its not like their likeness is being used in a donkey show. These guys are getting a free education worth tens of thousands. Im sure there is some exploitation there but every big organisation exploits its work force. No one was forced to accept a scholarship. They could always pay to go to college like the majority of their peers.

And most americans would lose their minds were they to try crumpets. They're the king of sundries.

Free education?

That's a lie. You aren't guaranteed for more than a year, and most of the time you are sharing your scholarship with your team.

10,000$ scholarship? a team of 4 turns that into 2,500 per person. A football team of 20 turns that into 500$ per person. Its a common tactic to cut down on costs. Not only that, but any injury can get you kicked off the team and lose your money.

And to boot, once its gone it is gone.

Actual athletic scholarships are only for the incredibly lucky few to get free rides, the 99% get jack shit. You'd have be lucky enough to win the lottery to get a free ride, even luckier to get into the NFL.

Ultratwinkie:

bjj hero:

PoolCleaningRobot:

Well blimey tea and crumpets mate, you'd really be ok with an organization selling your likeness and getting nothing in return?

If by my likeness you mean a player model of roughly similar skin tone named "RB 08" id be fine with it. Its not like their likeness is being used in a donkey show. These guys are getting a free education worth tens of thousands. Im sure there is some exploitation there but every big organisation exploits its work force. No one was forced to accept a scholarship. They could always pay to go to college like the majority of their peers.

And most americans would lose their minds were they to try crumpets. They're the king of sundries.

Free education?

That's a lie. You aren't guaranteed for more than a year, and most of the time you are sharing your scholarship with your team.

10,000$ scholarship? a team of 4 turns that into 2,500 per person. A football team of 20 turns that into 500$ per person. Its a common tactic to cut down on costs. Not only that, but any injury can get you kicked off the team and lose your money.

And to boot, once its gone it is gone.

Actual athletic scholarships are only for the incredibly lucky few to get free rides, the 99% get jack shit. You'd have be lucky enough to win the lottery to get a free ride, even luckier to get into the NFL.

All the same its financial assistance, they are not forced to take it, most people play sport for "free". Theyre getting money towards their education to do something they would probably do in their own time anyway. I actually pay money to take part in the sports i enjoy, i find it hard to see these guys as hard done to.

Heaven's Guardian:
It's not so much the visual likenesses they are suing for so much as it is the skill likenesses. It's largely established that the player ratings are set to resemble the skillsets of players on the actual teams, and when you combine it with the numbers and classes, it's pretty obvious that 97 overall #2 redshirt sophomore Texas A&M QB is supposed to be Johnny Manziel, for example.

But when I was playing as Jordan Jefferson (LSU alum here) I was capable of throwing the ball to someone other than the first read and not tucking and running. Those skills are entirely fictional!

 

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