College Football Players May Derail Release Of Heavily Anticipated Video Game

If you’re anything like me, then you absolutely cannot wait for the return of EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game (now titled “College Football”) next summer.

However, unfortunately it seems like there may be a few snags on the horizon.

College football players are facing a dilemma following EA Sports’ announcement of its partnership with OneTeam Partners to include their names and likenesses in the upcoming “EA Sports College Football” video game.

While the news initially generated enormous excitement among fans, questions about player compensation have sparked controversy and calls for a boycott.

Reports suggest that players who opt into the video game will receive a share of the expected $5 million compensation pool, which would amount to approximately $500 per player.

While this may sound appealing to some college athletes, it has drawn criticism from the College Football Players Association.. Justin Falcinelli, the Vice President of the association, called for a boycott, deeming the proposed amount “ridiculously low.”

Falcinelli, a former Clemson player, sought input from current NFL players to gauge appropriate compensation. He discovered that NFL players received around $17,000 for their appearances in the Madden video game in 2019, with one player claiming to have received $28,000 in a recent year.

These figures led Falcinelli to believe that the proposed compensation for college athletes was insufficient.

The possibility of negotiating for higher compensation has been raised by some players. Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels acknowledged the potential for agents representing high-profile players to seek more substantial payouts.

“Yes, I can definitely see that,” Daniels told On3. “I could definitely see it, especially with the highest college football players that are in the nation right now. If they’re getting paid as, you know, somebody who a lot of people really don’t know of, and they’re the most known person in college football, I can definitely see their agent saying, ‘Alright, what’s going on here?'”

Similarly, Oklahoma quarterback General Booty expressed understanding for players who would not settle for the same amount as lesser-known teammates.

“I don’t think people are going to come out asking for crazy numbers,” Booty told On3. “But some guys aren’t going to want to get paid what maybe a third-string freshman’s getting paid, and I don’t blame them.”

“We’ve actually been talking about that in the locker room,” Booty continued. “So, we’ve all talked about it because we want the game to come out, obviously. But we were saying if they come out and try to lowball and say we want to give everyone $200.”

“Well, guys maybe like, like you mentioned Caleb Williams, may say no, and then he’s not in the game. Then all the USC fans who want to buy the game and not play with him, you know?”

The issue of fair compensation becomes more complex when considering the existing endorsement deals of star players.. For instance, Texas quarterback Arch Manning has the highest NIL value in the sport at $2.8 million. Followed by USC quarterback Caleb Williams at $2.6 million.. Williams already has several high-paying deals with major brands.

While the $500 payout from EA Sports may seem insignificant compared to his endorsement earnings and future NFL prospects, the question arises of whether high-profile players like Williams can negotiate separate compensation arrangements.

RJ Young, a FOX Sports college football analyst, included Williams as the only current college football player on his list of top five choices for the “EA Sports College Football” cover.

Young described Williams as the most dynamic player in the game’s most crucial position. Williams’ popularity and endorsement deals could influence the negotiations surrounding player compensation.

In response to the situation, Falcinelli recommended that players refrain from participating in the game and opt-out based on the current pay scale. He criticized OneTeam partners and other organizations involved, claiming that they do not prioritize the players’ best interests.

As the debate over player compensation in the upcoming video game continues, it remains to be seen how EA Sports, OneTeam Partners, and college football players will navigate the delicate issue of fair and adequate remuneration.

Football fans had a very mixed reaction on social media…

““Pay the athletes” *EA does just that.* “NOT ENOUGH MONEY” It’s pathetic kids that are getting paid to be IN A VIDEO GAME & being marketed for free to the whole country are trying this, pathetic.”

“If they wanna be paid more to be in a video game then there’s no video game They can’t be paying a player millions to be in a game when there’s thousands of players to pay.”

“Yeah. It’s a group that is definitely way overestimating their power, unless for some reason schools agree to join in on the boycott (such as Notre Dame and others who said they wouldn’t go in game unless athletes got paid)?”

“Heck no it’s not. Even the current players have got to be missing playing these college football games. I loved it and always bought the new game every year. Hopefully they come to agreement and make it happen.”

“The 3rd string punter from North West Iowa State is now getting .05 instead of $500. Congrats on taking money away from 98% of student athletes.”