Is Taking Advantage of Amateur Athletes Coming to an End? – Sept. 26, 2013

In the early 1990s, if I wasn’t outside playing sports I was doing the next best thing – playing sports video games. It started with Tecmo Bowl for the original Nintendo Entertaiment System as we would gather around the television, waiting for our turn. A few years later, my friend had a Super Nintendo in one room and a Sega Genesis in another.

The systems might have changed, but the only difference in the games was the year. Whether it was John Madden Football or NBA Live; we were playing something that would start with…

EA Sports. If it’s in the game, it’s in the game.
EA Sports' version of Ed O'Bannon
EA Sports’ version of Ed O’Bannon
Growing up in Northeast, we would routinely get the ‘national’ college game on Saturdays in the fall. So players from Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida State and Miami were known to my circle of friends. When you played NCAA Football, we knew that No. 17 for the Seminoles was Charlie Ward and #2 in the Maize and Blue was Charles Woodson.
It helped that the players looked just like their real-life persona and the same could be said for their counterparts in NCAA March Madness. I went to college playing the first version of the game in 1995, the same year that Ed O’Bannon led UCLA to the NCAA National Championship.
It was easy to tell O’Bannon apart from the other players on the Bruins since he was an undersized light brown power forward with a bald head.
It’s no wonder that O’Bannon is one of the lead plaintiffs in a collection of lawsuits. One was recently settled as EA Sports choose to settle their class-action for an ‘undisclosed amount’ that eventually was determined to be about $40 million.
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