After a judge finally signed off on the $60 million settlement between EA Sports and a set of former NCAA football and basketball players, said players are about to get paid.

Those wishing to be part of the settlement class had to be represented in the NCAA football and basketball games between the years 2003 and 2014. According to a report from ESPN’s Darren Rovell, some 24,819 former athletes were ruled eligible to receive their cut of the $60 million settlement.

However, those said players aren’t likely to get paid all that much in the end. That’s because after a 30 percent reduction for lawyer fees and a split between nearly 25,000 claimants, those in the class are to receive around $1,600 each.

It’s far from getting rich off the countless copies of the games sold in the very popular series. Yet, for many it is about the principal of controlling ones own image and likeness in the commercial space.

According to Rovell’s reporting, players will be paid based on what years’ games they appeared in (earlier years are worth less) and how they were used (photographs or avatars are assigned more value than just a name or body description on a roster).

Those in the lead positions of the case, namely former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart and former Nebraska and Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller, will see the most financial benefit from this settlement. Each are expected to receive around $15,000.

Some 21 other players will receive around $5,000 each for being class-action representatives.

The lawsuit ended the popular game series, with NCAA ’14 coming out in the summer of 2013 just as the lawsuit was allowed to go forward.

Many have taken to blaming O’Bannon for ending the series, including the voice of said series — ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit. As for the return of the series? Herby has an idea on how to avoid all of the legal issues that resulted from the past — free games.

“Ed O’Bannon ruined that for all of us,” he said. “And hopefully we can get that fixed.”

Herbstreit added that “every single college football player” would be OK with getting a free copy of the game as compensation.

“That’s the compensation that they would take,” he said. “I’ve never met one player in college football that’s like: ‘They can’t use my name and likeness! I need to be paid!’ They’re just thrilled to be on the game. They love being on the game. It’s like the biggest highlight of their life, is to be on the game.”

Gamers and fans of college sports can only hope for the return of a series that combined the passion and pageantry of college football with the best in sports gaming technology. Will it actually ever come back? That seems to be up to EA Sports to work out with the NCAA and FBS athletes.

Knowing how into games the kids that play college football are, getting them each a copy certainly wouldn’t hurt as compensation.

[Game Spot/Photo: US News]

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a contributor to The Comeback as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10. He also is a member of the FWAA and has been covering college sports since 2011. Andy is an avid soccer fan and runs the Celtic FC site The Celtic Bhoys. If he's not writing about sports, you can find him enjoying them in front of the TV with a good beer!