After a long hiatus, EA Sports' beloved NCAA Football franchise is making its return. In a Feb. 2 announcement, EA Sports revealed it will be rebooting its college football video game for next-gen consoles.
With the news, The Daily Gamecock interviewed 40 students on their thoughts on the game being revived.
“I’m pretty excited, actually,” Nathan Baakko, second-year sport and entertainment management student, said. “To this day, I still go on Xbox every once in a while and play the latest one, which was 2014. I always love playing the Road to Glory and just acting like I was a college football star. So, to say the very least, I’m pretty hyped about it.”
Alexa Daly, a third-year broadcast journalism student, said she heard about the news on Twitter from Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who said he was upset the game was returning after he graduated.
In 2013, the game was discontinued after EA and the NCAA were taken to court over the unpaid use of player likenesses. Despite there not being a game in production, students still have fond memories of playing while growing up.
“I thought the Dynasties were really fun,” Will Carey, second-year operations and supply chain management student, said. “Getting a really bad team, bad college, and bringing them to the No. 1 seed and watching players develop and go to the draft. It was just a lot of fun.”
At the moment, it is unknown what EA’s intentions are when it comes to paying student-athletes for the use of their likenesses and attributes. This was the biggest issue and determining-factor in shutting down the game in its first life, so the question now becomes: Should the players be compensated?
“I think [student-athletes] definitely should be, especially if their name's on it and their personal identity is on it,” Ben Ettsuranyi, first-year mechanical engineering student, said. “I understand they’re in college – a lot of colleges pay them the tuition to go there, but I definitely think they should get some incentives for being on video games and platforms like that.”
Fourth-year sport and entertainment management student Chase Jones disagrees with the opinion of players being paid.
“I think they already get enough from free scholarships and a lot of free equipment and gear that they’re able to get from the school, too,” Jones said. “So they’re already getting a lot of benefits just by being a student-athlete. I just don’t think they need to be paid extra.”
One of the biggest discussions moving forward will be the cover athlete in the next installment of the game. Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is the most recent player to grace the cover. Students gave a variety of responses as to who they believe should be the next cover athlete, including Burrow, Derrick Henry, Tua Tagovailoa and South Carolina’s own Luke Doty.
"I think Tua should be on the cover of the NCAA Football game that's going to be coming out because he was thrown into a national championship game and did really well," Lindsey Barr, a third-year public health student, said. "Then he also survived and persevered through a bunch of injuries throughout his college career."