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Former Celtics coach suing EA, NCAA over misuse of likeness


Former Boston Celtics center and coach Bill Russell is suing both Electronic Arts and the National Collegiate Athletic Association over what he claims is a misuse of his likeness. In his complaint, Russell accuses EA and the NCAA of illegally using his image for the "Tournament of Legends" mode in the NCAA game franchise, and says he hasn't been offered money or asked for consent.

Russell's complaint isn't the first of its kind to be made against the sports game giant, with one case being successful against EA while another, more recent one was dismissed on First Amendment grounds. For its part, the NCAA sympathizes with Russell, but doesn't necessarily agree with his complaint. It said the suit and others like it "would cause the NCAA to lock up its archive of champion contests, and they would be held hostage unless every student-athlete, coach, band member, cheerleader and fan in a photo or camera shot received compensation." EA, on the other hand, withheld comment.

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