The NCAA announced today that it would not be involved in licensing its name and logo for the EA Sports College Football video game after this year. The primary factor, according to the NCAA, is the costs of litigation (see, the O’Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA).
In its statement, the NCAA claims that it has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names or likenesses, though anyone who has played the games knows how realistic the images generally look compared to the current roster (well, except for a very aged Johnny Manziel showing the signs of stress from missing too many camps with a dead phone battery). This is also contrary to the information that came out last year, where the NCAA was aware of use of likenesses and even names until the final version was created.
At the time, some of the members (Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, for one) were questioning why the NCAA was involved in using the likenesses, saying that the waiver signed by athletes “doesn’t come close” to authorizing what the NCAA has licensed.
EA Sports and the very popular NCAA game have benefitted from the union. In other news, expect the cost and value of NCAA Football ’14 to go up dramatically in its final year on the market. Video game fans will probably be up in arms; this, though, is a byproduct of a system where the NCAA is fearful of continuing a pattern of profiting on the images of current athletes without compensation.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]