Former College Quarterback Sues Electronic Arts, NCAA

Former Arizona State University and Nebraska quarterback Samuel Michael Keller has filed a lawsuit in California against video game maker Electronic Arts and the NCAA for the “blatant and unlawful use of National Collegiate Athletic Association student-athlete likenesses in video games produced by Electronic Arts.” The Collegiate Licensing Co. is also named in the suit.

Keller is seeking a class-action suit since he contends Electronic Arts includes representations of real Division I football and basketball players in its games and profiting commercially from such endeavors.

According to court documents, the suit reads, “Despite clear prohibitions on the use of student names and likenesses in NCAA bylaws, Electronic Arts utilizes the likenesses of individual student-athletes in its NCAA basketball and football video games  to increase sales and profits.” The suit also contends the NCAA has sanctioned the violations because they stand to profit from the games.

The games don’t include the actual names of the players, but gamers can upload actual rosters with real names through secondary services like Gamerosters.com, and many of the physical characteristics of the actual players, such as height and uniform equipment, are depicted in the game.

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