A group representing collegiate athletes has decided to take a stand against EA Sports.
At this time, EA has contracted OneTeam Partners to orchestrate the college athletes’ likeness. As previously reported by AfroTech, the NCAA introduced an updated (and historic) Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) policy that would allow athletes to profit from deals with various brands. It marked the first time in college sports history that this was possible.
Now that EA has offered participating athletes in the forthcoming video game a chance to make $500 each — pulling from a cash pool of $5 million — the CFBPA says it isn’t enough, especially given that they are unable to draw in royalties from the game. Per Sportico, college athletes also do not have the opportunity to ask for more cash.
Excitement For The Game
“I am excited for a new college football game,” CFBPA Vice President Justin Falcinelli said per On3. “I know how much people love it and how much hype there has been. It’s exciting that we’re now at the point where you can create group licensing deals for college football players to create this game. I think that is a huge milestone.”
Why Is The Deal Under Scrutiny?
“But as soon as you get below the surface, it’s a bad deal. It’s another one of those things that seem to be the pattern in college football,” he continued. “Like, ‘Oh, there’s one thing that’s happening that sounds great.’ But then you dig into it, and you’re like, ‘Alright, maybe a step in the right direction, but it’s still just exploiting the players.’”
To take it a step further, Falcinelli also urges players not to participate in the deal.
“You should not participate in this,” Falcinelli said. “It is a simple cash grab to just try to get you for the lowest amount possible. And it’s OneTeam Partners and all these organizations that don’t really represent the players’ best interest.”
What’s best for each player is ultimately up to them. It depends on their circumstances, some say.
“For 99.9 percent of the players, opting in to the deal makes sense,” On3 Founder and CEO Shannon Terry shared per the outlet. “For so long, players were not able to receive a dollar for having their image and likeness used. The $500 can go a long way and is a bonus — because the real value is being in the game for generations.”
Also more well-known athletes may be able to leverage their value and hold out for better deals, such as one-off marketing opportunities promoting the game, the outlet reported.
Looking Out For All Players
Ultimately, the CFBPA wants to take a stand for all college athletes and is known for going to bat for their rights. As opportunities around NIL deals continue to grow, it wants to waste no time ensuring that its players walk away with the best of the best.
“We really think this can be a unifying effort because it’s such a clear target and clearly a bad deal,” Falcinelli concluded.