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EA Sports reaches landmark NIL deal with college players for NCAA Football 2024

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Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

EA Sports have come to terms on a landmark deal that will see player names, images, and likenesses used for the first time in their popular series NCAA Football.

EA Sports has been one of the giants of the video game industry for a few decades now. Led by their Madden series, they’ve been the standard barer for high-level sports video games. However, while the legendary Madden NFL games have been the company’s biggest money maker in the genre, their NCAA Football was nearly just as popular for many years.

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That is until 2013 when NCAA Football 14 was the final edition in the series after production of more games was halted after a major ruling by the supreme court on name, image, and likeness guidelines for collegiate athletes.

However, it was revealed last year that EA Sports intended to restart the series after college athletes were allowed the right to make money off their own NIL. It seems the two developments were not coincidental and EA’s next college football game will look a lot different than previous versions.

Last EA Sports college football game – NCAA Football 14 in 2013

Credit: USA Today Network

On Wednesday, ESPN first reported that EA Sports and OneTeam Partners — a company representing players for NIL rights negotiations — had agreed on a deal that will allow college football athletes to opt into NCAA Football 2024 and be compensated for their NIL use.

“We’re excited to have an agreement in place with OneTeam Partners that will enable us to include the names and likenesses of eligible collegiate football athletes at NCAA Division 1 Football Subdivision schools who opt-in to being featured in EA Sports College Football.”

– EA Sports statement

Over 120 FBS schools have committed to being in the upcoming EA Sports college football game, including every FBS conference and even the College Football Playoff, according to the ESPN report.

NIL compensation for inclusion in the game is expected to be divided evenly between all players who opt in since identifying individual sales is impossible with a format like video games. If a player chooses not to opt-in, EA Sports will create a generic version of the player in that athlete’s place.

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