NCAA sues EA Sports, CLC
The NCAA is suing EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company, according to multiple reports.
The lawsuit was filed Nov. 4 in a Georgia state court. It followed a September settlement in which EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company agreed to pay around $40 million to settle lawsuits brought by former players whose likenesses were used without compensation. That left the NCAA alone in facing the class-action lawsuits spearheaded by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon and former college quarterback Sam Keller.
The NCAA is seeking to block the settlement and have EA Sports be required to pay for future liability judgments, legal fees and costs, according to the reports.
The suit alleges the Collegiate Licensing Company did not "adequately supervise" EA Sports and that the NCAA was subsequently subjected 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," according to The Wall Street Journal.
The suit also alleges the licensing company violated its business partnership with the NCAA by "self-dealing in settlement negotiations without the NCAA's knowledge, authorization or participation," per the Wall Street Journal report.
As for EA Sports, the suit alleges the video game company did not maintain sufficient liability insurance to cover "pending third-party claims, including for attorneys' fees that the NCAA has already incurred in defending against those claims," according to USA Today.
The NCAA also faults both EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company for settling the lawsuits without notifying the collegiate governing body and for refusing to give the NCAA information pertaining to the settlement, USA Today reported.
The NCAA and EA Sports declined to comment, while CLC spokesman Andrew Giangola said, "CLC is caught in the middle of a dispute between NCAA and EA which should not involve us."