A federal judge has approved a $60 million settlement for college athletes in a class-action lawsuit filed against the NCAA and video game maker Electronic Arts.
Steve Berman, a Seattle-based attorney for the plaintiffs, confirmed Friday that U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken had approved the settlement during a hearing Thursday. Wilken also ruled against the NCAA in the O'Bannon case -- filed by former UCLA forward Ed O'Bannon -- which challenged the NCAA's use of the names, images and likenesses of college athletes. That ruling is being appealed by the NCAA.
The plaintiffs in the case against the NCAA and EA contended they illegally used college football and basketball players' names and likenesses in video games for years. Players who have appeared in EA's NCAA football and basketball games have until July 31 to make a claim as part of the settlement.
"This landmark decision marks the first time student-athletes will be paid for the likeness or image and stands as a huge victory in the ongoing fight for student-athletes' rights," Berman said in a statement.
Berman said the maximum an individual can claim from the settlement is $7,026.
NCAA video games were discontinued in 2013 because of pending legal cases against the NCAA regarding the use of athletes' names, images and likenesses.