Judge denies Electronic Arts’ motion to dismiss former athletes’ lawsuit

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Much to the chagrin of video game giant Electronic Arts, the lawsuit filed against them by former college athletes such as Ed O’Bannon (UCLA), Sam Keller (Arizona State/Nebraska football) and Jim Brown (Syracuse football) won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Even after EA asked Judge Claudia Wilken to review the company’s agreement with the Collegiate Licensing Company, on Wednesday Judge Wilken came to the conclusion that the athletes’ lawsuit should not be dismissed.

In an opinion released on Wednesday, the judge says that a reading of the allegations about the agreements in the context of the overall complaint “do not refute” the allegations.

Specifically, as part of EA’s licensing agreement, the video game publisher agrees that it will “not encourage or participate in any activity that would cause an athlete or an institution to violate” the NCAA’s rules.

The judge says this doesn’t distinguish between former and current student-athletes and “can fairly be read” as evidence of a “meeting of the minds” between the defendants to not compensate ex-collegiate athletes.

What EA has attempted to hang its hat on is the fact that student-athletes have to sign waivers allowing the NCAA and its partners to use their likeness without compensation.

But how long should that agreement be valid? The athletes interpret the agreement as lasting in perpetuity (forever), meaning that the governing body can use their images even after their careers are over without compensating them.

Judge Wilken argued that the failure to distinguish between current and former student-athletes can be interpreted as an attempt by the governing bodies to avoid having to compensate former student-athletes.

There doesn’t seem to be a timetable as to when a verdict will be rendered but the case isn’t going away.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.