NCAA Will Not Renew EA Contract, NCAA Football 2014 to be the Last NCAA Game
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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) today announced that it will not renew its contract with EA Sports for the use of its name and logo in NCAA Football titles. Though the current contract lasts until June 2014, the organization stated the announcement was made early so as to allow EA time to deal with the fallout. The NCAA stated in its announcement that “given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA.”
As a result of the announcement, the NCAA said that the NCAA Football 2014 video game, which was released just one week ago, will be the final one to use the NCAA’s name and logo.
The NCAA’s decision could be related to a recent lawsuit and pressure on the NCAA to cut student athletes in on the revenue the organization gains from licensing NCAA broadcasting and video games rights. The NCAA stated that it its “confident” in is legal position and that it has never licensed the names or likenesses of student athletes for use in EA’s video games. However, student athletes that are suing the NCAA have argued that their height, weight, hair color, and jersey numbers were used in NCAA video games. From the NCAA statement:
The NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA. The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes. Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game. They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future.
Though the NCAA hasn’t made it entirely clear, this announcement seems to indicate that there will be no future NCAA video games, at least until the organization’s legal troubles are over. EA Sports has been contacted for comment, and an update will be provided if the publisher makes a statement.