As many as 100,000 student-athletes could be set to receive settlement checks from Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company, ranging anywhere from $48 to $951 thanks to a settlement reportedly reached in the last week over the use of player likenesses in a number of NCAA-branded video games published by the software and gaming giant. Knowing that endorsement checks are not allowed under NCAA rules, the organization is making it known no player will be punished for receiving any such check.
“First, under no circumstances will we allow the proposed agreement between EA and 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,” a statement from the NCAA confirmed. “This proposed settlement does not equate to payment of current student-athletes for their athletic performance, regardless of how it is being publicly characterized.”
It is a rather obvious move for the NCAA, being the PR master it can be sometimes. The statement by the NCAA could have simply ended there, but instead the official statement even took a swipe at lawyers.
“Second, the real beneficiaries of this settlement are the lawyers, who could pocket more than $15 million,” the NCAA statement continued.
The NCAA was not tied directly to the lawsuit, but their awareness on the lawsuit was heightened as the organization prepares for the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit and a similar lawsuit to follow.
EA Sports has suspended the production of the NCAA Football video game franchise.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah