The very popular video game, NCAA Football from EA Sports, could make a return very soon. Recently, the Wall Street Journal contacted Electronic Arts Inc. Chief Executive Andrew Wilson and asked about a possible return for NCAA Football since a new law was signed in California that allows college athletes to be paid. Wilson did not confirm a comeback, but knows they have a fanbase ready if they get the green light.
"I think there are many, many -- maybe even millions -- of players who hope that's the case," he said in an email to the Wall Street Journal.
EA Sports stopped producing the NCAA Football series in 2013 because there were lawsuits going on with former athletes against the NCAA for not being paid for the likeliness in things like video games. That's why the new California law is a possible game-changer because that issue will likely be addressed.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was the one to sign the bill back in September and believes the majority of states will be right behind him.
"It's going to initiate dozens of other states to introduce similar legislation," Newsom said on the Uninterrupted talk show The Shop according to the Los Angeles Times. "And it's going to change college sports for the better by having now the interest finally of the athletes on par with the interests of the institution. Now we are rebalancing that power."
The NCAA Board of Governors is not happy California made this decision because they believe "would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletes." The law won't go into effect until 2023 and what could happen then is the University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles, Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley could be banned from NCAA competition. If that happens, those schools could leave the NCAA and start a new league.
Those schools play in the Pac-12 Conference and that led to Pac-12 officials releasing their own statement.
"The Pac-12 is disappointed in the passage of SB 206 and believes it will have very significant negative consequences for our student-athletes and broader universities in California," it said in a statement. "This legislation will lead to the professionalization of college sports and many unintended consequences related to this professionalism, imposes a state law that conflicts with national rules, will blur the lines for how California universities recruit student-athletes and compete nationally, and will likely reduce resources and opportunities for student-athletes in Olympic sports and have a negative disparate impact on female student-athletes."