EA has lost its bid to be dismissed from a case regarding the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the non-payment of college athletes. The plaintiffs, led by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon, have accused the NCAA and its marketing company of violating U.S. antitrust law by forcing students to sign away their ability to profit commercially from playing college sports. Students have been told to sign waivers, which allow the NCAA and its licensees to use player likenesses, images and names without compensation. This agreement has been interpreted to exist in perpetuity, even after the student-athletes have ended their collegiate playing career.
It has been argued that EA agreed to NCAA rules, which prevented student athletes from being paid for their appearances in the NCAA Football series. EA’s license agreement states it will “"not encourage or participate in any activity that would cause an athlete or an institution to violate" the NCAA's rules. The judge has also used EA’s financial records relating to the products and stated that “payments were almost never made to former student-athletes”.
It looks like EA must start working on its red-zone defence because it is not getting out of this case easily. After this ruling, the case can now move forward.