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    EA Sports settles college athlete likeness cases

    The NCAA is now on its own in the legal battle over whether athletes should share in the money made from the use of their likenesses.

    Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company have settled all lawsuits brought against the companies by former and current college athletes over the unauthorized use of the players’ images and likenesses in video games and other merchandise.

    The NCAA is not part of the settlements, which includes the Ed O’Bannon case. Brought by O’Bannon, a former UCLA basketball star, that lawsuit was asking for the NCAA, EA, and CLC to share billions of dollars in revenues — including those made from massive television rights deals — with college athletes.


    The settlement was submitted for approval to the US District Court in Northern California and the terms were confidential.

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    The other cases settled were brought by former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart, former Nebraska and Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller, and former West Virginia running back Shawne Alston.

    ‘‘Today’s settlement is a game-changer because, for the first time, student-athletes suiting up to play this weekend are going to be paid for the use of their likenesses,’’ said Houston-based attorney Eugene Egdorf in a statement. Egdorf represents Hart, who sued EA Sports in 2009.

    ‘‘We view this as the first step toward our ultimate goal of making sure all student-athletes can claim their fair share of the billions of dollars generated each year by college sports,’’ Egdorf said.

    It is against NCAA rules for college athletes to profit from their names, likenesses, and popularity.


    Also Thursday, EA Sports announced it wouldn’t make a college football video game next year because of the ongoing legal issues. EA Sports began making an NCAA Football game in 1998.

    Hokies ground Ga. Tech

    Logan Thomas passed and ran for touchdowns in the first half, Virginia Tech’s defense shut down Georgia Tech’s running game, and the Hokies beat the Yellow Jackets, 17-10, in Atlanta on Thursday night. Thomas threw for 221 yards and rushed for 58. Virginia Tech (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned its fourth straight win over Georgia Tech (3-1, 2-1). The Yellow Jackets’ fourth-ranked rushing offense was held to 129 yards — more than 200 yards below its average . . . Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said quarterback Brandon Allen remains questionable for the Razorbacks’ game Saturday against No. 10 Texas A&M . . . Clint Trickett will start at quarterback for West Virginia Saturday against No. 11 Oklahoma State . . . A lawsuit against the NCAA by the family of late Penn State coach Joe Paterno and others is fatally flawed and should be thrown out, the organization said in a court filing Thursday. The filing said the suit contains ‘‘sundry misdirected complaints’’ and argued that the plaintiffs don’t have standing to challenge the consent agreement between the NCAA and Penn State over the child molestation scandal involving Jerry Sandusky. The lawsuit was filed by the Paterno estate, a few trustees and faculty members, nine former players, and two former coaches, including Paterno’s son Jay Paterno. The NCAA said Paterno’s estate was not able to say how its commercial interest in his reputation lost value.