Some current and former Ohio State Buckeyes will be seeing a payday thanks to an approved settlement from an ongoing class-action lawsuit against the NCAA and Electronic Arts.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken approved a $60 million settlement in the case, benefiting college players who appeared in the yearly installment versions of EA’s NCAA football and basketball video games ranging from 2003-2013.
“This landmark decision marks the first time student-athletes will be paid for their likeness or image and stands as a huge victory in the ongoing fight for student athletes’ rights,” the plaintiffs’ attorney Steve Berman said in a release.
Former OSU standout linebacker Bobby Carpenter told The Lantern that he and his three younger brothers have already filed their claims.
“I was glad to see that the case is finally resolved and many former players will be compensated for their past likeness,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter said the amount each player will receive will depend on how many people file claims and the years played. He said his claim will be lesser because he played in the earlier years of the franchise.
The deadline for players to submit a claim has been extended to July 31, with the estimated total payout for a player who appeared in four versions of the game up to $6,486, according to a court document found on NCAA–EA–Likeness–Settlement.com.
Carpenter, now a co-host of “Carpenter and Rothman” on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, was a two-time second-team All-Big Ten linebacker at OSU and was drafted No. 18 overall in the 2006 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys.
Carpenter’s brothers all played football collegiately, as well, and appeared in different versions of the game. Jon Carpenter played for the University of Cincinnati as a linebacker and running back from 2004-2007 and served as a defensive graduate assistant for the Buckeyes in 2014, George Carpenter played linebacker at Marshall University and Nathan Carpenter played defensive back for Ohio University.
A fan of the video game series, Bobby Carpenter said he would like to see the game make a return to consoles.
“Hopefully the game will be able to continue with athletes receiving a portion of the royalties going forward,” Carpenter said. “It is a great game and would be a shame to not bring it back.”
EA has not produced a new version of the game since 2013 when “NCAA Football 14” was released, and an NCAA basketball game hasn’t been released since 2009.
A current Buckeye who would like to see the game make a return is redshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones, who tweeted a picture of himself as the 2016 cover athlete.
— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) July 21, 2015
OSU vice president and athletic director Gene Smith told The Lantern in an email that he has not spoken with any of the players relevant to the lawsuit.
“I am not aware of any former players who adjoined the suit nor have I engaged in any discussions about it with players,” Smith said.
Current players who could make a claim include anyone who appeared in the 2012 or 2013 versions of the game, meaning they are currently in at least their third year of NCAA eligibility.