A few days ago, former UH wideout Jeremiah Cockheran received a notification letter that he — like the thousands who were Division I basketball players or FBS football players between 2003 and 2012 — was eligible for a payout as part of a settlement involving the NCAA and video-game company.
“I thought that was pretty cool,” said Cockheran, who occasionally followed news accounts of the case initiated by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon.
The lawyers, of course, get a big cut. Then there’s the distribution based on when a player was used, whether there was an avatar or a generic figure, and the popularity (success) of the team or player. A UH starter probably is entitled to several hundred dollars — a nice windfall after all these years. And more money could come depending on the outcome of another class-action suit
It’s a fair result. When I was a kid, I had an electric football game in which the “players” had the same build. I could pretend the “quarterback” was Joe Namath, although that was a reach when he was “throwing” an oval-shaped dustball. Fast-forward to 2004, when I bought my son the NCAA football game because he wanted to call plays for Timmy Chang and Chad Owens (who had a speed rating that was equal to Terrell Owens’). A Colorado-based cohort, who was a freelance consultant for a video-game company, used to call WAC writers for details on teams and players. The video likenesses were not coincidental.
It’s nice that the former players are getting their fair share. Next step would be a way to share the wealth of all those No. 15 UH jerseys sold in 2007.