• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • -
    days
  • -
    hours
  • -
    minutes
  • -
    seconds

EA Sports: Who’s in the Game? (Not Arch Manning, for One)

  • EA says that 10,000-plus players have opted in to appearing in its new video game, ‘College Football 25.’ One of the biggest names, though, notably declined.
  • Here’s a quick rundown of the fallout and pushback since the game-maker agreed to pay opt-ins.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for EA Sports since the company released details about its upcoming college football video game, College Football 25, for which it will pay college athletes who opt in to allowing the use of their name, image, and likeness.

EA will send football players $600 and a free copy of the game, and provide NIL opportunities to college athletes (including nonfootball players) to promote the game—but players will not receive royalties for their participation. Some have viewed the arrangement as a win—after all, the 2014 lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon against EA essentially sparked today’s NIL revolution—but others, like those with the College Football Players Association, say the lack of royalties equates to college athletes “being treated like children.”

“We say the market should decide what players should be compensated, and the way you do that with a group licensing deal is through royalties,” the CFBPA’s founder and executive director, Jason Stahl, tells Front Office Sports.

Stahl also criticizes the licensing firm OneTeam Partners, which negotiated the EA deal on behalf of the college athletes, an untraditional model in group licensing given the absence of an all-encompassing players union.

“This isn’t about judging a player’s decision [to opt in or not]. It’s about judging and critiquing the process through which this all happened,” Stahl says.

Against the backdrop of that pushback, EA announced Monday that more than 10,000 players have opted in to the game, including big names such as quarterbacks Quinn Ewers (Texas), Carson Beck (Georgia), and Jalen Milroe (Alabama). The company said it was 87% of the way to reaching its goal of 85-player rosters.

A major exception: On Monday, Anwar Richardson, who covers Texas football for Rivals, reported that Arch Manning will not opt in to the game, as he’s “focused on playing football on the field.” The Longhorns’ five-star backup behind Ewers signed a partnership with Panini in July, with all proceeds from the trading card’s sale going to charity. While Manning is expected to play behind Ewers for another season, Manning is still one of the biggest names in college football and a notable omission for EA, which has confirmed to ESPN that users will not be allowed to create a football player who does not opt in. In other words: Texas fans won’t be able to use a workaround to get Manning on their roster.

The changing backdrop of NIL

EA’s initial announcement of allowing college athletes to opt in for its game was followed a day later by a U.S. district judge in Tennessee taking away the NCAA’s power to enforce any of its NIL rules. And Tuesday, in New Hampshire, the Dartmouth men’s basketball team will hold a vote on unionizing, which is planned to be the first in NCAA history announced to the public.

College Football 25 is just another example of a rapidly evolving NIL landscape, challenging the norms of both amateurism and the NCAA itself.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Caitlin Clark Drives Massive WNBA Draft Audience for ESPN

Clark’s coronation was the most-watched WNBA telecast in decades.

Mythical Knicks Pitch to LeBron James With ‘Sopranos,’ Trump, Weinstein Leaks 14 Years Later

Video shows Tony and Carmela Soprano recruiting LeBron James to the Knicks.

WNBA Draft Fashion Has Come a Long Way From ‘Most Athletic Accountants’ Era

The WNBA draft used to have a strict dress code, a former top pick tells FOS.

Does Golf TV Have A Scottie Scheffler Problem?

Masters ratings were down 20% this year.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Inside the Most-Hyped WNBA Draft in History

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Nike
Multiple - USA Careers
NBA
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

‘Nothing Is Off the Table’: New AAC Commissioner Isn’t Afraid of the Controversial Ideas

Tim Pernetti told reporters he’s specifically interested in private equity—and didn’t rule out athlete employment or unionization models.
April 10, 2024

Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer Retires With ACC Move Looming

She set the all-time coaching record with 1,216 wins.
April 10, 2024

Deion Sanders: NFL Teams Manipulate Draft Positions

Coach Prime joined ‘Front Office Sports Today’ to discuss the state of college football.
Sponsored

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 9, 2024

John Calipari’s Kentucky Exit Is As Slow and Awkward As a Dog in a Stroller

Calipari steps away from Kentucky with the Arkansas deal still unofficial.
April 9, 2024

Simultaneous Final Fours: An Untenable Logistical Conundrum

The women’s Final Four has gotten much too big to take place at the exact same time—in a different location—as its men’s counterpart.
April 8, 2024

With Back-To-Back Titles, UConn Proves Basketball Is About More Than Power

Unlike in FBS football, a non-Power 5 basketball school can dominate.
April 8, 2024

South Carolina’s Title Win Smashes Ratings Records in Caitlin Clark’s Finale

The NCAA title game became the most-watched women’s college basketball game.