College football and basketball players whose names and likenesses appeared in Electronic Arts video games from 2003 through 2014 will finally get their money from a $60 million settlement.
Of the players who submitted claims to be paid, 24,819 were determined to have a valid claim. That would give the average player about $1,600 in the settlement, after lawyers take a 30 percent cut of the award.
The number of validated claims was revealed when lawyers for the athletes, who did not give permission for their identities to be used but whose names and likenesses appeared to varying extents in the games, filed a letter with the court on Monday before Wednesday's hearing on objections made by various players to the settlement.
Players will be paid based on what years' games they appeared in (earlier years are worth less) and how they were used (photographs or avatars are assigned more value than just a name or body description on a roster).
The lead plaintiffs -- former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart and former Nebraska and Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller -- will get the most money, estimated to be $15,000 each. Twenty-one players, including former Alabama wide receiver Tyrone Prothro, get $5,000 for being class-action representatives.
In paperwork handed out to athletes before claims were filed, a 10 percent claim rate -- lawyers said as many as 200,000 athletes could be part of the class -- would result in top players whose likeness was used making between $259 and $2,703 per year, per game.
The lawsuit filed against Electronic Arts and the NCAA resulted in the discontinuation of the college video game franchise. NCAA Football '14, which hit shelves in July 2013, was the last game that was produced.