Notre Dame will not participate in EA Sports’ new college football game until NIL rules end – tech2.org

Notre Dame will not participate in EA Sports’ new college football game until NIL rules end


One of the biggest brands in college football is still unsure whether it wants to be included in the revitalized college football video game EA Sports when it returns to the market.

University of Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said his school will not provide its name, logos and other brand property to EA Sports for the game until new rules determining whether athletes will be able to receive a share are finalized. of game winnings.

The NCAA has indicated that it intends to change its rules to allow college athletes the ability to earn money from some types of endorsement deals. Federal and state lawmakers have also pushed for legislation that would open up similar opportunities, some of which are scheduled to go into effect this summer.

“As those rules are developed, it is our strong desire that student-athletes can directly benefit from allowing their name, image and performance history to be used in the game,” Swarbrick said in a statement released Monday.

In order for athletes to receive money from a video game, they will likely need the ability as a collective group to negotiate a price for the use of their names, pictures and likenesses. It’s unclear if future rules will allow for such group licensing deals. The NCAA group working on these particular rule changes has so far opposed allowing group licensing.

EA Sports announced earlier this month that it plans to resurrect its popular college football game and had begun negotiating with FBS-level schools to include their names and other publicity rights in the remake.

General manager Daryl Holt told ESPN that the creators of the game are prepared to move forward without using the names or images of the players in the game, but that they are closely following the proposed changes and would consider including players if the new ones. rules allow it. The company hasn’t yet said exactly when the game will be back on shelves, only that it won’t be ready this year.

The new rules governing athletes’ NIL offerings could be in effect long before the first version of the game is available for purchase, leaving time for Notre Dame and any other group to decide to participate if they wish.

The first state laws opening the doors to college athlete sponsorship deals are scheduled to go into effect in July. Federal lawmakers have also proposed several national options, but they are unlikely to vote on any of them until the end of 2021 at the earliest. Most, but not all, of those proposals would allow the kind of group license fees that would allow athletes to participate in the game and make money from it.

The NCAA, meanwhile, has also been working on reworking its rules in hopes of implementing changes by the start of next school year. A task force proposed changes in late 2020 that would open several avenues for athletes to earn money while in school, but would not allow them to organize to negotiate a group license.

Although group licensing can be accomplished without the help of a players union, most professional sports leagues rely on their unions to negotiate such agreements. The NCAA opposes unions or the establishment of rules that may further blur the lines between amateur college sports and professional leagues. At the time of the proposal, the leaders of that group said they expected to consider group licensing deals at some point in the future.

The association was scheduled to vote on the proposed rule changes last month, but decided to delay the decision indefinitely.

Notre Dame is the first school to publicly state that it wants to wait for new rules to be established before making a decision on whether to participate in the game. Swarbrick did not say that players would have to participate in order for Notre Dame to eventually participate in the game. However, he is one of the few athletic directors who has shown public support for allowing group licensing of athletes.

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