NCAA not renewing EA Sports contract, because they always make such great decisions
The NCAA, college sports' governing body that can't even govern itself, has announced via a press release that it won't be renewing its contract with Electronic Arts for the NCAA Football series of college football video games. EA currently has an exclusive licensing agreement with the NCAA, but that expires in June 2014.
The press release said:
The NCAA has made the decision not to enter a new contract for the license of its name and logo for the EA Sports NCAA Football video game. The current contract expires in June 2014, but our timing is based on the need to provide EA notice for future planning. As a result, the NCAA Football 2014 video game will be the last to include the NCAA’s name and logo. We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games. But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA.
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.
There's a lot of commotion around college sports that the NCAA should pay college football players, since the players are the ones responsible for universities raking in millions of dollars. And when former student athletes -- and current ones, as well -- have their likeness used in games (not their names, though), lawsuits happen. Much like the one former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart (2002-2005) who claims that EA made money off of his likeness.
So no wonder the NCAA wants to distance themselves from these lawsuits. There can still be an unlicensed college football game, with EA Sports able to negotiate licenses for trademarks and intellectual properties with individual universities for the video game. It'll be up to the schools to decide on those business arrangements.
But as it stands right now, NCAA Football 14 will be the last NCAA-licensed video game.