College football and basketball players have finalized a $40 million settlement with a video game manufacturer and the NCAA's licensing arm for improperly using the likenesses of athletes, leaving the NCAA alone to defend itself in the upcoming Ed O'Bannon antitrust trial.
In the end, according to the agreement, 77 percent of the funds that are due to players (after lawyer fees) will go to the class of players represented by Berman, who sued the NCAA on behalf of former Arizona quarterback Sam Keller. Just over 12 percent will go to players in the class represented by O'Bannon, the former UCLA basketball star. The final 10 percent will go to the class represented by former Rutgers football player Ryan Hart and former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston.
Additionally, O'Bannon, Keller, Hart and the other named plaintiffs would receive payments of $2,500 to $15,000 for their time and efforts in representing the classes.
If the settlement is approved by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken, the lawyers will receive up to one-third of the settlement funds, or $13.2 million, plus a maximum of $2.5 million in legal fees that they argue is "particularly reasonable in light of the advanced stage of this case." They state that the collective lodestar, or total amount of legal services expended, by the various plaintiffs' firms that have worked on the Keller, O'Bannon and Hart-Alston cases exceeds $30 million, plus expenses of $4 million.
Michigan Related BOMBSHELL:
In June 2013, former University of Michigan president James Duderstadt wrote that "(in) a sense, the NCAA's objective is to preserve the brand so that it provides revenue primarily for a small number of people who get very, very rich on the exploitation of young students who really lose opportunities for their futures. ... And that's what's corrupt about it. The regulations are designed to protect the brand, to protect the playing level and keep it exciting, not to protect the student athletes."