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TELANDER: EA Sports payout small potatoes for college athletes

Hart Lee Dykes (left with brother Billy 1988) helped place four schools probatiwith his testimony about recruiting violations.

Hart Lee Dykes (left, with brother Billy in 1988) helped place four schools on probation with his testimony about recruiting violations.

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Updated: October 30, 2013 6:54AM

According to early leaks, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company, the producer of the hugely popular college football video game, will pay somewhere around $40 million to former NCAA players (and some current players) for using their likenesses in the game without their permission or any compensation.

The number of players covered in the mandated legal payout is reportedly between 200,000 and 300,000.

I don’t know how far back the settlement goes, but if it takes us all the way to 1971, then I’m in the money! Northwestern, baby!

Then it hit me: Forty million dollars divided by 300,000 is $133.33. Divided by 200,000, it’s still only $200. Enough to buy a couple of copies of ‘‘NCAA Football 2015.’’ Except there won’t be one. EA Sports is done with college football video games. Lord, you can’t contractually give money to these, these . . . children!

Hey, dolts at the NCAA and college conference headquarters: Think it’s time to pay your athlete-workers? Think it’s time to take your ‘‘student-athlete’’ label — made up the way the Ministry of Truth made up Newspeak, Orwell’s 1984 language ‘‘designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought’’ — and ram it up your hypocrisy holes?

I do.

◆ SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has the Blackhawks ranked as the No. 1 team in the NHL, as close to a prohibitive lock as you can have.

‘‘There’s no other pick,’’ the mag says. ‘‘Not even close.’’

Three Stanley Cup titles in five seasons? That would be something, and it would mark clearly the incredible job Hawks management has done to find and retain great players — as well as complementary ones — in an era where you can’t just go out and outspend everybody else.

Patrick Kane is on the cover of the hockey issue, celebrating some playoff goal from last spring, displaying the semblance of a manly playoff beard. Remember when he couldn’t even grow one?

There’s nobody else in the photo, which is interesting. It takes a team to get where the Hawks want to go, where they’re expected to go. Injuries could derail anything and everything, and it’s hard to believe no other team is even ‘‘close’’ to them.

But if it’s true, rejoice.


Remember him? He says he’s healed, strong and ready to be who he was two years ago. His knee injury has taken him out of our world since April 2012, and the Bulls have been a dangling organization since.

If Rose is truly ready to go, to be that MVP-winning player he once was, then the Bulls have their best shot at a title since Michael Jordan left 15 years ago. Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and the others are counting on this one year.

If it doesn’t happen by next spring, if the Bulls can’t get past the Heat and lesser teams, then the whole team will be up for grabs. And everybody, except the untouchable Rose, might be headed out of town.


The biggest cheater in the history of sports recently returned his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics to the U.S. Olympic Committee, which will hand it over to the International Olympic Committee. This is what cheaters must do.

And he won the recent lawsuit filed by readers of his best-selling books by crouching behind the freedoms of the First Amendment, which allow a writer to lie because holding people to the truth would be an impossible and dangerous task. And I agree with the decision. But the judge in the case made it clear Armstrong was a cheat; he just couldn’t be found guilty of what was essentially a freedom-of-speech issue.

‘‘The court’s ruling may be a victory for the First Amendment,’’ high-profile Chicago personal-injury lawyer Joseph Siprut said. ‘‘But at the same time, it casts a sad and long shadow over the value of reputation. It used to be that a man’s word is his bond. Those days are long gone.’’


◆ OKLAHOMA STATE just got ripped to shreds in a five-part Sports Illustrated article that looked into its corrupt football program.

Check this out: ‘‘Hart Lee Dykes, the All-American wide receiver, is the Typhoid Mary of college football. His testimony to the NCAA regarding recruiting violations, granted in exchange for personal immunity to charges, had helped place four schools — Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Illinois and even his own Oklahoma State — on probation.’’

From a book called The Hundred Yard Lie: The Corruption of College Football and What We Can Do to Change It. Published in 1989. By Rick Telander.

Nothing new. Ever.

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