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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

UB to be featured in ‘College Football 25’

The video game series returns for the first time since 2013 after recent NIL rulings

<p>The Bulls are "in the game."&nbsp;</p>

The Bulls are "in the game." 

The University at Buffalo will be among 134 NCAA Division I schools featured in the upcoming EA Sports “College Football 25” video game, the Bulls revealed on Thursday in an X post. 

EA Sports announced last week that players will be offered $600 and a copy of “College Football 25” in return for permission to use their name, image and likeness (NIL) in the game. It will be the first time that college athletes will be able to profit from appearing in a video game. More than 11,000 athletes will be eligible to appear. 


“College Football 25” is slated for release this year and will be the first iteration of the series since “NCAA Football 14,” which was released in July 2013. EA Sports discontinued the franchise due to legal issues surrounding the use of college athletes’ likenesses in the game, according to USA Today. NCAA rules at the time prohibited college athletes from receiving financial compensation in NIL deals and endorsements. The NCAA has long defended its policies by saying amateurism is a fundamental element of college athletics.

Antitrust rulings against the NCAA in federal court, including O’Bannon v. NCAA (2015) and NCAA v. Allston (2021), opened the door for college athletes to receive compensation. In 2021, the NCAA adopted NIL rule changes, according to ESPN, and 28 states have since passed NIL legislation allowing athletes to profit from NIL deals. New York updated its NIL laws in 2023, further limiting the NCAA’s authority and expanding the definition of “student athlete” beyond college athletes.

The NIL boom has been followed by other advances in athlete rights. Earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Dartmouth basketball players are school employees with the right to unionize, according to Forbes, further undermining the NCAA’s amateurism agenda.

In “NCAA Football 14,” UB received a 79 overall rating. The Bulls finished 8-5 (6-2 MAC) in 2013. Alabama (11-2, 7-1 SEC) was the highest-rated team that year (99) and Georgia State (0-12) was the lowest (60).  

“College Football 25” is expected to release this summer, according to Sports Illustrated.

Ryan Tantalo is the managing editor and can be reached at ryan.tantalo@ubspectrum.com


RYAN TANTALO
tantalo-2023

Ryan Tantalo is the managing editor of The Spectrum. He previously served as senior sports editor. Outside of the newsroom, Ryan spends his time announcing college hockey games, golfing, skiing and reading.

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