Electronic Arts would "jump for the opportunity" to reinstate college-based sports game franchises
Should college athletes be allowed to profit from their likeness?By Shawn Knight
A hot potato: The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) currently has strict rules in place regarding how student-athletes can be compensated. Aside from a scholarship, they can't be compensated for their performance or likeness, regardless of how much revenue they help generate for their respective schools.
Electronic Arts would love to reinstate its college-based sports game franchises and thanks to a new California law, it may get the opportunity to do so.
During a speaking engagement at the WSJ Tech Live conference this week, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said they would "jump for the opportunity" to get back in that business.
EA put out a very successful college football series on a yearly basis for nearly two decades before shelving it in 2013 due to legal issues surrounding the use of college athletes' likenesses.
College athletics is big business as the NCAA brought in $1 billion in revenue during the 2016-2017 school year.
California Senate Bill 206, also referred to as the Fair Pay to Play Act, will change all of that, allowing athletes to accept endorsement and sponsorship deals. It was signed into law on September 30 but doesn't go into effect until 2023 so it could be a while before EA gets back into the NCAA business, if at all.
Plus, the law only applies to California's public schools - other states would presumably need to adopt similar laws before EA could move forward.
Masthead credit: Rogelio V. Solis, AP