Ever since EA Sports announced the return of their college football series, it has been one major roadblock after another. A few weeks ago, a potential boycott by players seemed to pump the brakes on EA Sports’ plan to compensate real college football players for being in the game. If that pumped the brakes, a new lawsuit may have slammed the brakes so hard the tires squeal.
EA Sports Lawsuit
According to a report by Amanda Christovich of Front Office Sports, a new lawsuit may change EA’s latest plan for compensating players for their NIL. The Brandr Group filed the lawsuit June 20th in a federal court in the Northern District of California.
TThe Brandr Group is a company contracted by universities across the country. The company helps handle licensing agreements for the schools and their athlete’s NIL. According to Front Office Sports, The Brandr Group and EA were in contact multiple times over the last few years. The two entities discussed EA offering NIL deals to athletes to be featured in the video game. EA said in an email that deals with athletes at schools partnered with The Brandr Group would be done through The Brandr Group.
However, EA partnered with One Team Partners earlier this year to complete these deals. EA has reportedly begun offering players $500 to opt into being included in the game. This has been done with the help of One Team Partners, thus excluding The Brandr Group. The lawsuit claims EA is attempting to “circumvent” the agreements The Brandr Group currently has with its partner schools. It also claims that EA asking athletes to opt in without The Brandr Group being involved is “tortious interference.” The Brandr Group argues this opt-in method, and the June 30 deadline, will lead to players being compensated far less than they deserve. The lawsuit seeks to stop EA from continuing to negotiate deals with athletes and schools that are partners with The Brandr Group.
This lawsuit is the latest roadblock to EA Sports’ return to college football video games. EA Sports has not released an entry in the college football series in nearly a decade. This latest hurdle may prolong this hiatus. Hopefully, all parties will be able to come to an acceptable arrangement soon.