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.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.