EA Sports College Football
We all know and love the greatest game in the history of video games known as EA Sports NCAA Football. Everyone I know would come home from work or school, turn on their Xbox and start playing NCAA before anything else because that’s the joy it brought people. This was a game where you could live out your wildest dreams as the best college football player in the world.
The last NCAA game that was made had Denard Robinson, aka “Laces,” on the cover, who had an incredible college career at Michigan, scoring touchdowns while missing a shoe. The game has been sorely missed, and finally, the video game is going to make a comeback.
Why did EA Sports College Football fall off the face of the Earth?
Surprisingly this game sparked outrage in the sports community. It all stemmed from one man speaking his mind and bringing forth the ugly truth. Former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon is the man who first brought up issues about the image, and likeness of athletes used for profit in college sports.
EA Sports didn’t use players’ names in the game but used their numbers, skillsets, and similar appearances without compensating any of them. O’Bannon was a victim of this also. He was featured on a classic UCLA team with the same number, measurements, handedness, and skin tone. He used this as an example when he brought forward a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA that named EA and the Collegiate Licensing Company as co-defendants.
In this lawsuit, O’Bannon argued that the NCAA was wrongfully using athlete’s images and likenesses commercially. O’Bannon was able to reach a $40 million settlement that was to be split into checks of a few hundred thousand dollars and sent out to players whose likenesses were used.
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This is not what discontinued the game, though. EA agreed to pay players moving forward, but the NCAA doesn’t allow players to profit from their likeness while in school. This made it impossible for EA to continue to make the game without being served with another lawsuit. For the game to work with players profiting, the NCAA and Congress will need to permit group licensing. As for now, EA says they will not be using the numbers and images, etc., of current college players to avoid being sued.
This much beloved and highly anticipated return of the game that people have been waiting almost a decade for will eventually bring some rule changes to the NCAA. As a sports video game player, I have favorite players that I want to use because they are great, and I know that they are where they are due to lots of hard work that allows them to showcase their raw talent and unique abilities. That being said, they deserve compensation and recognition on a global stage for their achievements and skillset. Bringing back the game is a step in the right direction for EA, players, and the NCAA. I can’t wait but let’s get the athletes paid!
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