EA may be bringing back the iconic NCAA Football franchise, but they still need to get every school to agree to individual licensing deals. So will Notre Dame fans be able to play their favorite school in the next edition of the franchise?
If Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick doesn’t see certain changes, possibly not. In a recent statement, the Notre Dame AD said the school will not participate until new rules are codified concerning student-athlete participation and Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).
“Notre Dame Athletics welcomes the return of EA Sports College Football, a video game series that has historically helped promote interest in college football,” Swarbrick said in a statement. “Notre Dame will not, however, participate in the game until such time as rules have been finalized governing the participation of our student-athletes.
“As those rules are developed, it is our strong desire that student-athletes be allowed to benefit directly from allowing their name, image and performance history to be used in the game.”
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) February 22, 2021
NIL has been a contentious issue for decades, but has gained new legs over the past few years.
Just last year, the NCAA announced that it would enable student-athletes to receive some benefits for NIL.
EA has paid out millions in settlements for violations of NIL in the past. Avoiding the same mistakes that led to that is going to be a priority for the video game publisher moving forward.
Will EA publish its next NCAA Football game before new NIL rules are formally put in place? And if so, will Notre Dame ultimately be a part of it?