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Future NCAA Games Dealt a Blow, as Court Rejects Hearing of O’Bannon Case

E3 Games NCAA Football

The Supreme Court will not consider the Ed O’Bannon antitrust case against the NCAA. This means, in simple terms, that nothing will change.

The main issue surrounding this case and the NCAA is the idea of amateurism, and the Court’s Rulings are as follows:

  • ‘The NCAA’s regulations are subject to antitrust scrutiny, and rules limiting football and men’s basketball players to receiving tuition, fees, room, board and books violate antitrust laws.
  • While antitrust law requires that schools be allowed to provide these athletes with scholarships that cover all of their costs of attending college, including travel and personal incidentals, “it does not require more,” such as what it termed “cash sums untethered to educational expenses.”’

This pours cold water on any assertions of NCAA games making a comeback in the near future.

It’s those cash sums untethered to educational expenses that has made it more difficult for NCAA video games to acquire the name and imaging rights.

A publisher would not be able to used the players’ licences without the NCAA member schools allowing money to be paid to the students. This would violate their amateur status and wade into murky water. And with the publishers seemingly mainly concerned with the sports’ professional counterparts, there appears to be very little incentive to bridge the legal gaps to make NCAA games feasible again.

It’s a shame, but there isn’t much more to do than to wait.

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