How Does The Name, Image, and Likeness Rule Affect The Possibility College Video Games Coming Back?

(Graphic Credits: Saturday Down South)

Like many of you, I love college football. Nothing gets me more excited then waking up at 8:30 on a Saturday morning grabbing an unnecessary amount of snacks and anything I can find Kentucky related and then sitting in front of my TV the entire day. However, since the release of NCAA Football 14 there has been a void for college football fans everywhere. No video game to play. I mean sure you can play various copies of the game, which many of us do. But it’s not the same.

However there was a breakthrough in hope for a new game, or so we thought. The NCAA announced that starting in  the 2021-2022 season athletes would be able to receive payment from any third party endorsements or sponsors. Which is a necessary and massive step to get college football games back. Well, here's the issue. 

Any other professional sports league has a players association which is how they make deals as to how much players are paid for appearing in a game like Madden or NBA2K ect. Well the NCAA doesn't have a players union. In 2014 Northwestern proposed a players union for private schools (Which I’m sure would eventually be extended to public schools) but was denied. If that had gone through then the NCAA would have a players union to negotiate this new likeness rule with and we would more than likely have NCAA Football 21. 

Keep in mind this is not EA’s fault. Even in the O’Bannon case EA claimed that they would be willing to pay players but at the time it was against NCAA rules so they had to stop the series. Both the NCAA and EA know this could be the best selling sports game of all time. This is not a money issue with EA.

So basically, under current rules we need a NCAA players union to get a NCAA sports game. Until we get that, don't get too excited. But this was a needed step and we are one step closer to getting what we have been waiting 7 years for, a new NCAA game.

Written by: William James

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