SBD/October 6, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Bill Russell Latest To File Lawsuit Against NCAA, EA Over Use Of Image

Russell accuses EA of using his image in a "Tournament of Legends" video game
Basketball HOFer Bill Russell has filed an antitrust suit against the NCAA, alleging it of “selling videos using his likeness without paying him or seeking his consent,” according to Karen Gullo of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The lawsuit is “the latest to claim the NCAA violates federal antitrust laws by keeping former student basketball and football athletes from receiving compensation for the commercial use of their images and likeness.” EA is “also named as a defendant in the lawsuit,” and Russell “accuses it of using his image in a ‘Tournament of Legends’ feature on an NCAA basketball video game.” Russell’s complaint will “probably be consolidated with a pending lawsuit brought by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon on behalf of other former NCAA players” against the NCAA and EA. The O’Bannon case alleges that the NCAA and EA “worked together to violate former student athletes’ rights to control and profit from the use of their images” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 10/6).
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