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EA Sports and CLC complete $40 million settlement with former NCAA players

The NCAA is now on its own when the O'Bannon lawsuit heads to trial on June 9.

Former players finished a settlement with EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company Friday night for $40 million, meaning that the NCAA will be the sole defendant in the trial.

As many as 100,000 players who were in the NCAA basketball and football games from EA Sports since 2003 could get up to $4,000.

"I'm thrilled that for the first time in the history of college sports, athletes will get compensated for their performance," Steve Berman the co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs told ESPN. "It's pretty groundbreaking."

EA and CLC had originally come to a settlement with the plaintiffs in September, but no agreement had been finalized. The initial settlement announcement in the fall came shortly after EA Sports announced that there would be no college football game in the fall of 2014.

Because there were multiple lawsuits by former players seeking compensation for the usage of their likenesses, the funds from the settlement will be divvied up as follows after lawyer fees. 77 percent will go to a group led by former Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller, 12 percent to the group represented by Ed O'Bannon and 10 percent to the litigants in the suit by former Rutgers player Ryan Hart and former West Virginia Player Shawne Alston.

The named plaintiffs above will receive anywhere from $2,500-$15,000. Judge Claudia Wilken, the presiding judge for the O'Bannon trial, still needs to approve the settlement. According to lawyers for the players, up to 200,000 players appeared in the football and basketball games since 2003, but not all are signed up as part of the suits.

The NCAA has tried multiple times to delay the start of the trial on June 9 to no avail. On Friday, Wilken denied a motion by the plaintiffs to add the ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that said Northwestern players were eligible to form a union as employees of the school into formal evidence for the trial.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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