The National Collegiate Athletic Association said Wednesday that it would end a deal with the video game company EA Sports that has put its name and logo on games that have helped put the association in legal trouble. The association, which faces a major antitrust lawsuit in which current and former athletes seek a share of the revenue that they say flows to colleges and the NCAA from use of their likenesses in video games and other venues, cited "the current business climate and costs of litigation" in ending its affiliation with EA when the current deal expires next year. The NCAA receives $545,000 from the company annually. The company said the "NCAA Football" game would live on with a different name, and would continue to work with individual colleges that license their names and logos.
The NCAA's statement warned that that individual colleges may wish to reconsider their own legal position. "The NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA. The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes. Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game. They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future."