Fans Ask EA Sports to Bring Back 'NCAA Football' Video Game Following NCAA Bylaw Change Allowing Athletes To Get Paid

The NCAA's surprising decision to allow student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness has many fans thinking about the potential release of a new college football video game.

On Tuesday, the NCAA's board of governors voted "unanimously to permit students participating in athletics the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a matter consistent with the collegiate model," the organization said in a statement.

The decision comes six years after several college athletes sued EA Sports over its popular 'NCAA Football' video game. The lawsuit claimed that the company was profiting off the use of the players' names and likenesses, but was not compensating them. As part of the lawsuit settlement, EA Sports discontinued the game after NCAA Football 2014.

According to ESPN, that final version of the video game sold about 1.5 million copies.

Shortly after the NCAA announced they would change bylaws to allow for player compensation, college football fans used social media to express their hope that the popular video game would begin production once again.

"Talk to me @EASPORTS. When can we get this started?!? #BringBackNCAAFootball," Kirk Herbstreit, a college football analyst for ESPN, tweeted.

"I'm 42 years old, haven't picked up a controller in years, if there is a new NCAA football game released by EA, I am buying the PS5 and the game immediately upon release," Twitter user Andrew Landon (landona54) wrote in response to Herbstreit's tweet.

"Don't feel like you need to build hype for this @EASPORTS just give the people what they want #BRINGBACKNCAAFOOTBALL," Twitter user CoachHarts said.

Some even took it a step further by tweeting their ideas about who should be on the cover of the potential new NCAA Football video game, which usually showcases an iconic player. "NCAA 21 should have one cover featuring every athlete since 1993," Twitter user Michael Kowalsky tweeted.

"Where is the Joe Burrow cover of NCAA 21," tweeted user conner_silva05, referencing the LSU quarterback and current Heisman Trophy favorite.

Others seemed certain that the NCAA Football game will be back in production by next year, however, EA Sports has not made any announcement about plans to bring the video game back.

In an interview at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live Conference earlier in October, EA Sports CEO Andrew Wilson said the company would be open to creating a new version of the game. "If there's a world where the folks who govern these things are able to solve for how to pay players for the use of their name and likeness and stats and data, we would jump at the opportunity to build a game in a heartbeat," Wilson said.

The decision by the NCAA comes after California passed the Fair Pay to Play act, which allowed student-athletes in the state to be properly compensated, leading several other states to begin drafting the same legislation. A federal bill has also been proposed by Ohio congressman and former professional football player Anthony Gonzalez.

NCAA
NCAA decision to permit athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness has fans excited for new video game Christian Petersen/Getty
Fans Ask EA Sports to Bring Back 'NCAA Football' Video Game Following NCAA Bylaw Change Allowing Athletes To Get Paid | Sports