The dichotomy between my love of college sports and active hatred for the way college sports are run rears its ugly head. The NCAA announced today that they will not be renewing their contract with EA Sports to use the likeness of colleges in the wildly popular NCAA Football franchise. Implications include:
- No longer being able to turn UConn football into a powerhouse using "Dynasty Mode"
- No more Power-Option Football
- Awkwardly obvious likenesses of players being used but named "RB #34"
- The end of the Mascot game!
- Uploading draft classes into Madden
- Creating your High School team and running train on the NCAA (Wow, I was a loser)
Feel free to share your own in the comments. The Ed O’Bannon case versus the NCAA has been threatening to tear down the very fabric by which a bunch of old white people make crap-tons of money off of free labor. Hilariously, the NCAA is very transparent in assuring the public that this had nothing to do with any moral qualms they may have had:
"…given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA."
LOL. Allow me to paraphrase, "The copious amounts of money we've made by doing this has been great, but right now we’re paying sooo much to have the best lawyers in the world defend our monopoly that the incremental money we could continue to make does not outweigh those costs plus the brutal case this makes against our fight versus Ed O’Bannon et al. so we will be regrettably closing off this very profitable revenue stream."
If I were a PR professional (which I am not) and worked for the NCAA (obviously, I do not), I would try to paint this as a wave of morality that miraculously swept through the NCAA and that they finally understand that such brazen profiteering off unpaid players’ likenesses in video games is unmistakably hypocritical. They will continue to do so anyway (see jersey sales, commercials, posters, Johnny Football beanie babies, etc.) but at least this is a step in the right direction. Maybe they could forge a deal where they do allow them to use the players’ names and likenesses and use that money to fund a stipend for the players. Hey look at that I just fixed college sports.