Both sides requested a ruling on the subject of amateurism following Judge Claudia Wilken’s ruling that the NCAA violated antitrust laws and that athletes should receive compensation beyond education-related expenses. She also ruled that compensation should be capped at $5,000 a year and put into a trust that would be received after an athlete completed eligibility.
Wilken’s decision was overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but it upheld the finding of an antitrust violation.
The class-action lawsuit, led by ex-college basketball player Ed O’Bannon, began in 2009. The Supreme Court’s ruling comes as a blow to the hopes of a college football video game returning to the shelves. There still is no system in place to directly pay players for their likenesses which, in turn, means college sports video games are not seen as viable investments for major video-game publishers such as EA Sports.
Electronic Arts, along with the Collegiate Licensing Co., settled with the plaintiffs for $60 million to get out of the lawsuit in 2013. That also was the last year EA Sports released an edition of its NCAA Football video-game series. — M.Q.