Jack Swarbrick explains the issue with EA Sports that could prevent Notre Dame from being in new CFB video game
Will Notre Dame participate in the upcoming EA Sports College Football video game set to be released on the current generation of consoles?
That remains to be seen but a recent statement issued by Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick put that in doubt.
If you missed it, here is the release issued by Swarbrick on Monday:
“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 issues for Notre Dame are two-fold. The biggest issue hanging over all of college sports at the moment is the upcoming Name, Image and Likeness laws. No one can accurate say what those will detail but even Swarbrick is willing to concede those laws are coming.
When it comes to the EA Sports game, the second issue for Notre Dame comes with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC). Notre Dame is currently not a member of the CLC. Only 12 FBS schools are not members.
EA Sports currently has a deal in place with the CLC but that leaves the 12 schools that have to reach agreements with EA Sports independently if they chose to be in the game.
Those 12 schools are Air Force, Arizona State, Army, Clemson, Georgia State, Kentucky, Navy, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Troy and USC.
During a recent appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show, Swarbrick issued his concerns regarding the upcoming NIL laws and the EA Sports game.
“If recruiting becomes who’s got NIL deals already in place that someone is offering to prospective student-athletes, if we’re going to get in real trouble,” Swarbrick said on the show. “So that’s concerned, number one for me.
“Concern number two, for me, is if we can’t figure out a way to allow the student-athletes to engage in group activity, without having them classified as employees. That’s what the EA Sports thing is all about. How do you – you can’t say no group license, so they can’t participate. That’s not fair. How do we get them to participate, under some system that allows them to do that?”
The good news is these schools have time to resolve these issues with EA Sports but the longer they take, the less likely they will be featured when the next college football game is released.