NCAA says athletes can get paid; Paving way for ‘NCAA Football’ return

We’ve never been as close to the return of the EA Sports NCAA Football video game franchise than we are at this very moment. On Tuesday afternoon, the NCAA announced they have voted to allow student athletes to profit from their names, images, and likenesses, though the process will be regulated by the NCAA.

This announcement comes on the heels of California passing a bill last month that allows college athletes in the state to profit off themselves, a bill that began a movement across the nation that saw several other states begin discussion on enacting similar legislation. It appears the outside pressure from state governments finally pushed the NCAA over edge on this matter they were stringently against for many years.

The nuts and bolts of how this will work at the NCAA level have not been released in detail at this time, but what we do know is this, college athletes will soon be able to profit off themselves for the first time in history.


The board members said in a release Tuesday that all changes should make sure student-athletes have the same opportunities to make money as all other students, maintain the priorities of education and the collegiate experience, and ensure that rules are “transparent, focused and enforceable” and do not create a competitive imbalance. The board wants each division to implement new rules by January 2021.

If you look at your calendars, you will notice 2021 is only 14 months away, meaning student athletes could start receiving compensation as soon as next year’s College Football National Championship should things go according to pla.

For video game fans, especially fans of the EA Sports NCAA Football series, this announcement carries a little extra weight. Since the release of NCAA Football 14 in June 2013, the college football world has been without a video game iteration of the sport.

The game series was put on pause following NCAA Football 14 due to the ongoing debate over whether student athletes should be able to profit off their own likeness. That debate may now be coming to an end with the NCAA’s announcement on Tuesday. Opening the door for athletes to profit off their own likeness, could very well open the door to a return of the NCAA Football franchise in the near future.

Every year, EA Sports released its annual NCAA Football game in mid-June, during what is often a dead period for new game releases. The series became one of the company’s most popular products and the thirst for a new version is at an all-time high.

How thirsty have players become for a NCAA Football game? Well let’s just say some creative types may have already mocked up a few potential cover art ideas should EA revive the franchise.


Today’s news generated almost immediate buzz on social media about what it could mean for the series going forward. No one from EA has commented or will likely comment on the matter until all the details are ironed out, but this certainly looks like the closest we’ve been to a new game in years.

It’s long been believed once the NCAA allows athletes to profit off themselves, a return of the NCAA Football franchise could follow. With the NCAA doing their part in the matter, hopefully it’s only a matter of time until EA Sports follows suit.


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