NCAA reaches agreement with plaintiffs in Keller case

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On the same day the Ed O'Bannon case against the NCAA is set to begin in an Oakland courtroom, the NCAA announced it had settled another federal case brought by a former college athlete.

The NCAA said Monday it had agreed to settle claims over college-themed basketball and football video games produced by Electronic Arts. The agreement will end the lawsuit brought by former Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller; the NCAA said the settlement will provide a total of $20 million to certain Division I men's basketball and FBS student-athletes "who attended certain institutions during the years the games were sold."

The NCAA said the complete details of the settlement remain to be finalized. The case was scheduled for trial in March 2015 in California, and the NCAA said it expects the settlement to be approved by the court before March.

The NCAA's release said the "unique" settlement in the Keller case "does not impact the NCAA's strong belief that its collegiate model of sports operates lawfully, which it will argue in defending the O'Bannon case about live broadcast in federal court."

While important, the Keller case was dwarfed by the O'Bannon case in terms of potential impact on college sports. O'Bannon is not seeking monetary damages; instead, in a nutshell, it's a case that challenges NCAA rules that limit what football and men's basketball players can receive from schools while they are in college.

EA Sports discontinued its basketball series in 2010 and announced last year that it was putting its college football series on hold.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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