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A U.S. District Court judge today ruled in favor of college athletes who had sued the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) over the paid use of their likeness in a variety of products, including video games.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled today that the NCAA’s rules limiting athlete compensation violated antitrust laws. The NCAA may still restrict athletes’ income from endorsements or appearances but not to a limit below their cost of attending school, and in some cases, a percentage of their royalties can be held in trust until after they graduate.
The ruling could affect who gets the revenue from games that feature NCAA players, including EA Sports’ NCAA Football games, which the massive video game publisher is no longer making. The NCAA did not renew its deal with EA last year due to “costs of litigation” associated to this case. An EA Sports representative declined to comment on the ruling.
NCAA representatives unsurprisingly told USA Today the organization disagrees with the ruling, but said they would not comment further until they had a chance to read the 99-page document. Wilkin ruled that the injunction would not stop in the event of an appeal.
The judge issued an injunction barring the NCAA from enforcing any rules or bylaws that would prevent member schools from offering their football or basketball recruits a limited share of the income from their likenesses, in addition to a full grant in aid. The ruling will take effect for athletes who enroll after July 1, 2016.
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