SOUTH BEND, Ind.–When the new EA Sports college football video game comes out, you may not see the University of Notre Dame in it. Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick says his school will not provide its name, logos, and other branding property to EA Sports for the game until new rules determine whether athletes will be able to receive a cut of the game’s profits are finalized.
The full statement reads as follows:
Notre Dame Athletics welcomes the return of EA Sports College Football, a video game series that has historically helped promote interest in college football. Notre Dame will not, however, participate in the game until such time as rules have been finalized governing the participation of our student-athletes.
As those rules are developed, it is our strong desire that student-athletes be allowed to benefit directly from allowing their name, image, and performance history to be used in the game.
The NCAA has indicated that it intends to change its rules to allow college athletes the ability to make money from some types of endorsement deals.
In order for athletes to receive money from a video game, they would likely need the ability to negotiate as a collective group on a price for the use of their names, images, and likenesses. It’s not clear whether future rules will allow for those types of group licensing arrangements. The NCAA group working on these particular rule changes has thus far been opposed to allowing group licensing.
Notre Dame is the first school to publicly declare that it wants to wait for new rules to be put in place before making a decision on whether it will participate in the game.