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SBD/September 27, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
EA Sports, CLC Settle Ed O'Bannon Lawsuit; NCAA Vows To Keep Fighting
Published September 27, 2013
IT'S NOT IN THE GAME: The "NCAA Football" game in recent years had begun to tail off in sales, falling to around 2 million units per year, far less than what core company franchises such as "FIFA" and "Madden NFL" sell each year. EA Sports GM/Football Games Cam Weber in a company blog post wrote, "We have been stuck in the middle of a dispute between the NCAA and student-athletes who seek compensation for playing college football. Just like companies that broadcast college games and those that provide equipment and apparel, we follow rules that are set by the NCAA -- but those rules are being challenged by some student-athletes. ... The ongoing legal issues combined with increased questions surrounding schools and conferences have left us in a difficult position -- one that challenges our ability to deliver an authentic sports experience." Weber went on to call the cancellation "profoundly disappointing" (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).
FIGHTING THE FIGHT: USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz writes the NCAA has "vowed to keep fighting on the issue for as long as necessary." With Thursday's settlement, the NCAA now is the "lone defendant" in the case with O'Bannon, Keller and five other current football players. NCAA Exec VP & General Counsel Donald Remy early Thursday said that the association was "gearing up for that case with even greater resources and resolve than it has before." Remy: "We're prepared to take this all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to. We are not prepared to compromise on the case" (USA TODAY, 9/27).