The NCAA said Wednesday that current college athletes will not lose their eligibility by receiving money from a proposed $40 million settlement related to names, images and likeness of players. However, the NCAA said it has not decided whether to object to the settlement.
More than 100,000 current and former football and men's basketball players have potential claims to money from the Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Company settlement related to video games. Lawyers for one set of plaintiffs in the case have estimated that approximately 7,000 current football and men's basketball players could be eligible for the payments, which could range from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars.
NCAA rules prohibit athletes from making money off their name in school, but the NCAA spelled out how it will view those payments.
"First, under no circumstances will we allow the proposed agreement between EA and the plaintiff's lawyers to negatively impact the eligibility of any student-athlete ... not one will miss a practice or a game if this settlement is approved by the court," the NCAA said in a statement. "This proposed settlement does not equate to payment of current student-athletes for their athletic performances, regardless of how it is being publicly characterized."
The NCAA is not covered by the proposed settlement and said "we have not determined whether to formally object to any of the settlement terms." The NCAA added that the "real benefactors" of the settlement are lawyers, who could receive more than $15 million, according to the proposed settlement terms.