NCAA sporting events are some of the most lucrative and widely attended events for the American University system, it's a shame that while colleges and networks make BILLIONS off the backs of NCAA athletes, they don't see a dime.
As a matter of fact, if you're an athlete that's suspected of taking funds in the form of endorsements, after an investigation, you could get booted out of college entirely. 'Not fair' seems like it does the word understatement a disservice. Well it looks as if the NCAA and EA will not be renewing their joint contract for any future football titles bearing the NCAA logo. Presumably basketball titles will follow suit, but we do have a statement from the NCAA outlining the reason behind the decision:
"The NCAA has made the decision not to enter a new contract for the license of its name and logo for the EA Sports NCAA Football video game. The current contract expires in June 2014, but our timing is based on the need to provide EA notice for future planning. As a result, the NCAA Football 2014 video game will be the last to include the NCAA’s name and logo. We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games. But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA."
"The NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA. The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes. Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game. They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future."
One could speculate that this is the first ripple caused by the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit.
The lawsuit has former UCLA star, as well as fellow plaintiffs Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson, suing the NCAA, and EA Sports, over the use of their names and likeness without being properly compensated. A class action lawsuit, if successful, could cost both the NCAA and EA billions.
So as it stands it will be up to the individual schools as to whether or not they will choose to participate in any future EA endeavors. Don't see that working out as a particularly fun title, but college football video games don't seem to be going anywhere just yet.
What do you think, will the franchise be missed? Let us know.