Just two days ago, KSR’s Drew Franklin wrote a post about how he was praying that EA Sports would bring back the NCAA Football video game series now that the NCAA is reconsidering its restrictions on student-athletes using their own name and likeness.
Today, his prayers were answered. Well… kind of.
In a statement given to 247 Sports, former NCAA Football Executive Producer Ben Haumiller said he would be “very interested” in bringing back the popular video game series.
“We loved making college football games,” Haumiller told 247Sports via email. “If the opportunity ever presented itself we’d be very interested in potentially getting back into that space.”
Haumiller also added that he appreciates the overwhelming support from NCAA Football fans with hopes that the game will come back eventually.
“We’re glad to see our fans keep the spirit of the game alive, their devotion is really touching,” he said.
The video game series ended following the 2013 release of NCAA Football 14 when the courts ruled that EA Sports had used athlete likeness without permission or compensation. Following the ruling, CBS Sports reported that EA Sports was forced to pay out $60 million in settlements to athletes who appeared in the game from 2003-2014.
From there, the NCAA failed to renew its licensing agreement with EA, and we haven’t seen a game released since.
While it sounds like there is hope for the series to continue at some point, the rule for athletes to profit from their name and likeness has to change first.
Back on May 14, the NCAA announced the creation of the “NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group,” where the ultimate goal is to find out if student-athletes are able to do just that.
“This group will bring together diverse opinions from the membership — from presidents and commissioners to student-athletes — that will examine the NCAA’s position on name, image and likeness benefits and potentially propose rule modifications tethered to education,” said Val Ackerman, commissioner of the Big East and working group co-chair. “We believe the time is right for these discussions and look forward to a thorough assessment of the many complexities involved in this area.”
We’re certainly quite a ways away from any serious movement here, but it’s a solid start, nonetheless.