The NCAA has decided to not renew its NCAA Football series contract with EA because of legal issues.
UPDATE: Publisher EA finds a way around NCAA’s decision to no longer renew its licensing agreement with CIC contract for College Football series.
ORIGINAL STORY: American college football body National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released a statement recently saying that it 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.“
This litigation has come about due to some legal issues springing up from an ongoing class-action lawsuit against some former athletes, who are charging the NCAA with profiting off of their name and likeness in a videogame. It began when former University of California (UCLA) basketball player Ed O’Bannon wanted to sue the NCAA, EA, and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) for using his name and likeness without permission. Since then, others have joined O’bannon in his cause.
“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 still remains “confident in [its] legal position regarding the use of [its] trademarks in video games,” however.
The NCAA’s official press release can be read in full below:
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.
As said in the press release EA’s current exclusive licensing agreement with the NCAA lasts until June 2014. This turn of events has pretty much effectively ended the NCAA Football line-up since the NCAA will no longer be officially licensing its name and logo. This means that this years NCAA Football 14 will be officially the last in the series of its name.
It’s not all doom and gloom for fans of the series, however, because the series itself will go on – just without the NCAA title.
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy recently tweeted an update on the situation, saying that the NCAA Football will continue past 2014. The series itself, however, will no longer be officially affiliated with the NCAA. He later sent another tweet saying that the series will be re-branded simply as “College Football“, with the next game in the line-up being College Football 15.
What do you think of the NCAA no longer renewing its licensing contract to EA? Let us know in the comments!