Campus Clips: Court Rules College Athletes Can Sue EA Over Images; Longhorn Network Adds Nov. 4 Football Game vs. Kansas

By Brandon Costa, Senior Editor, Sports Video Group

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that video game maker Electronic Arts must face legal claims by college players that it unfairly used their images without compensation. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Redwood City, Calif., company can’t invoke the 1st Amendment to shield it from the players’ lawsuit.

The legal action was filed in 2009 by Sam Keller, a quarterback who played for Arizona State before transferring to the University of Nebraska. It argues for class action status to represent all current and former players and has been combined with a similar lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon against the NCAA.

EA said it plans to appeal the ruling. The company has claimed its college-based sports games were works of arts deserving freedom of expression protection. The court disagreed, ruling the avatars used in the company’s basketball and football games were exact replicas of individual players. The court concluded that the company did little to transform the avatars into works of art and said EA’s NCAA Football game was too realistic to be considered a new art form….

…Texas’ Nov. 2 game against Kansas in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network, the school announced on Monday. The matchup with the Jayhawks will be the third game the Longhorn Network broadcasts in 2013. It will also show live coverage of Texas’ home contests against New Mexico State on Saturday, Aug. 31 and Ole Miss on Saturday, Sept. 14…

…Rutgers took the latest step toward broadening its scope before its big move to the Big Ten, by signing a new multimedia rights and sponsorship deal with IMG College worth nearly $6 million annually. The 11-year, $65 million deal will partner the university’s athletic programs with the collegiate marketing giant and put Rutgers firmly in the realm of its future rivals, ideally boosting brand recognition and attracting new national and corporate support…

…The third annual Battle 4 Atlantis men’s college basketball tournament will tip off Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. NBC Sports Network’s 15 hours of coverage will feature first-round games, both semifinal contests, the Battle 4 Atlantis consolation game, and the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship. The tournament features University of Kansas, Villanova University, University of Tennessee, University of Southern California, University of Iowa, Wake Forest University, Xavier University, and University of Texas at El Paso…

…The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) announced its online digital video network, NJCAA TV, will be upgraded to Volar Video, a new innovative broadcasting platform from the experienced leadership team that previously led (now a subsidiary of Volar Video).

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