College athletes, including UTEP, suing NCAA over likeness revenue

Updated: Friday, August 9 2013, 11:52 PM MDT
College athletes, including UTEP, suing NCAA over likeness revenue story image

By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- If you've ever played a sports video game, you may have noticed some of the players resemble real college athletes. Some of those players are now suing the NCAA.

Game makers are "selling the games and their likeness for multi-millions of dollars, and some of the players are saying 'where's my cut?'" said attorney Jim Darnell.

Another lawsuit against the NCAA, over companies that use photos of college athletes without their permission or paying them, involves a UTEP athlete.

According to reports, last year, the NCAA raked in more than $870 million, and together, college athletic departments pulled in more than $11 billion.

Attorneys said it's because while the NCAA doesn't allow amateur athletes to get paid, the NCAA and universities are pulling in big bucks through sales of tickets and memorabilia, like jerseys.

"I think it's horrible how they manage college sports in general," said Juan Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, who grew up playing sports in El Paso, said he thinks college athletes deserve to get paid.

"Because it's so time-consuming to be an athlete in college," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez points out that after spending hours on the field, many athletes don't have time to get a job.

"I think if they're showing this much dedication and you're only profiting from it, speaking of the NCAA, I think it's only fair they get some part of it," said Rodriguez.

While these lawsuits are reportedly far from over, the NCAA is reportedly scrapping its licensing deal with EA Sports next year, when the contract expires.

College athletes, including UTEP, suing NCAA over likeness revenue
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