We Didn’t Want To Kill NCAA Football, Say College Players’ Lawyers

We Didn’t Want To Kill NCAA Football, Say College Players’ Lawyers

When EA Sports shuttered its NCAA Football series about a week ago, it cited ongoing lawsuits brought by current and former college football players. Lawyers for those players say killing off NCAA Football was never a goal of their action, and they’re not opposed to the series returning.

“We would be fine if they published a game,” Leonard Aragon, the co-lead counsel for the players, told Polygon‘s Samit Sarkar in an interview published today.

Moreover, “If the NCAA would allow student-athletes to receive some compensation for appearing in video games, that’s something that we would be amenable to and would certainly listen to as part of a settlement,” Aragon told Polygon, “but we haven’t heard anything yet.”

Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company filed notice they had reached a settlement with college players in four different actions, barely hours after EA Sports said on Sept. 26 that it would not publish a college football game in 2014.

As of now, it appears only that a college player could receive a settlement from a legal action related to the use of his likeness and still maintain his eligibility, according to statements from the NCAA after Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel trademarked his “Johnny Football” nickname.

That means, theoretically, that no player would become ineligible for receiving a distribution from the EA/CLC settlement (said to be $US40 million in all, but that figure is unconfirmed) but there still is no structure in place to actually licence the use of real players’ names going forward. One would assume EA Sports would not resume this series without such a system in place.

Lawyers never intended for EA to stop making NCAA Football games [Polygon]


  • If they want the NCAA Football games to continue then why are they making all of these lawsuits for chilling effect?

    • Because EA games is using the names and likenesses of college players and those players are not receiving any money from it.

      • But can they, though? I thought that was one of the major caveats of being part of the NCAA, in that, irrespective of what you do and how you do it, you aren’t able to earn any money as the result of being a collegiate athlete.

        • That’s what the court actions are about – basically it’s whether the NCAA can have an annual turnover of $6 billion off the back of past and present athletes (particularly through licensed products), while the athletes themselves are never given any share of that. The NCAA and EA are using the likenesses and a large set of stats to populate it’s college teams in the games that correspond exactly to individual athletes, but using different names for each – allegedly, so that they can sidestep the issue of using player likenesses. Even so, with the data available, it’s apparently relatively easy to identify who they are in the real world:


          • I agree, it’s pretty shit they the NCAA can pretty much make a shit tonne of money at the players’ expense and then not circulate any of that back into the schools for sporting programs or scholarship assistance at least. Even more so that, by being an athlete in the NCAA, they automatically ‘own’ the rights to your name and likeness. I remember hearing about that wrestler/rapper before. The NCAA really fucked him on that.

      • djbear I guess you like that woman judge never ever played NCAA Football they don’t use the names, likeness are you kidding …what people won’t do for a buck . As someone who’s actually paying for my son’s college don’t tell me $100-$125k for four years of scholarships aren’t compensation!

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  • Realistically this game wouldn’t of made EA anywhere near the money of the pro NFL games, and would of been a bit of a labour of love giving college football enthusiasts what they want and players a bit of free promotion going forwards.

    Congrats on killing it.

    • Yeah, I’m sure EA make games that aren’t profitable at all.

      I’m sure the NCAA gets no payment at all for allowing EA to use the likenesses- in perpetuity, even after the players are no longer in college!- of college players. They just do it all for the love.

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