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Another NCAA Player Sues Over His Appearance In Video Games

Illustration for article titled Another NCAA Player Sues Over His Appearance In Video Games

No NCAA basketball title releases this year, but that doesn't mean people can't sue over ones made last year. A former Tennessee player is joining the legal action against the NCAA and EA Sports over their use of his likeness.

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The suit filed by Bobby Maze, a standout basketballer for Tennessee who nonetheless was not drafted by the NBA this year, will join one brought last year by former Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller, and other former athletes seeking class action status against the NCAA. Maze's complaint also names the Southeastern Conference and EA Sports as those who profited by exploiting his likeness.

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Collegiate sports games do not name players, but the current performers are identifiable by nearly every other trait in the game's roster - height, weight, ethnicity, uniform numeral, position, and year in school. Attributes and ratings also closely match their real-world prowess. Freelance industries of roster modifiers have supported these titles for nearly a decade, and the games now include the means of conveniently sharing roster files online, even among gamers not in your friends list.

Maze's suit also claims that the NCAA's standard practice is to only offer athletes one year scholarships, leaving athletes vulnerable to being cut at any time, and unable to negotiate more favorable terms with schools willing to guarantee multi-year scholarships.

The complaint was filed in federal court in California.

Former Vol Bobby Maze Sues EA, NCAA, SEC [Metro Pulse via Operation Sports]

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DISCUSSION

Sure colleges exploit athletes for monetary gain, but it always seems like there's no perspective.

Some of these athletes are on full room and board. Some may even have some extra stipends or support services (like arranged tutoring etc). If you add these up, the athletes earn more than some professionals (like Minor League baseball players or players in the NBA Developmental League).

Sure, if you're a superstar, then I can see that risking your multi-million dollar career or whatnot is tough, but the fact remains most of them would be lucky to end up as a practice player on a pro team.

Honestly, I feel no sympathy for Maze. He like a lot of other kids, went undrafted and now wants to get someone to pay him for it?