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NCAA will not license future EA Sports college football games

UPDATE: EA confirmed it will continue to develop and publish college football games in a news post. Those games just won't have the NCAA name or logo attached.

NCAA Football 14 could be the last game from EA Sports to bear the collegiate sports organization's name. The NCAA published a press release today which stated that "the current business climate and costs of litigation" led it to withdraw from the arrangement, which has stood since NCAA Football 98.

Said litigation seems to refer to the case raised by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon, who is suing the NCAA over his image appearing in its licensed materials materials, including EA Sports' college basketball series, without compensation.

O'Bannon seeks to turn the case into a class action suit which could challenge the NCAA's long standing stance against paying current and former college players through salaries or promotional compensation. The NCAA argues that payment beyond scholarships and experience would spoil the culture of student athleticism.

Though EA's next college football game will not bear the NCAA's name or logo, colleges license their athletic programs separately--so the same teams and (nameless) athletes should appear next year.

We've asked EA about how this change will impact its franchises and will update this article with any response.

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3 comments

  • yasmarc - July 18, 2013 1:19 p.m.

    How dare those players who make tons of money for the big schools try to retain their image rights!?
  • GoldenEagle1476 - July 17, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    This is surprising. I wonder how this will affect future games in the series; EA would hate to lose one of their cash cows.
  • FoxdenRacing - July 17, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    Not the reason I was expecting...but this is big, and not in a good way.

Showing 1-3 of 3 comments

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