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This morning, Feb. 22, Notre Dame athletic director, Jack Swarbrick, announced that the Irish will not be in the new EA Sports College Football games until “rules have been finalized governing the participation of our student athletes.”
Of course, in true 2021 fashion, all I saw was the headline: “ND won’t be in EA game until NIL resolved”. I believe my immediate reaction was as followed below with a muttering of “goddamn nerds” under my breath.
Then, remembering I paid to go to school for a journalism degree, I actually decided to read into the story and came across this tweet from The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel:
My opinion on the matter completely shifted. Big props to Notre Dame for being the first big-name university to take this stand on the matter. It’s about time someone in the system is pro-players making the money they rightfully deserve.
I’m not sure what exactly this means for the upcoming NIL laws debate between the states and the NCAA, but those cowards in the NCAA are going to have to hop on board at some point. Give the people what they want. We’ve been dying for the NCAA Football franchise to be revived for nearly a decade now, so don’t muck it all up now that we’ve reached the 5-yard line.
Also, I’m sure more big-name universities will follow Notre Dame with this message now that someone in the system finally stood up for the players. And it’s probably not the worst thing if they do.
No one is going to play a game centered around the “FCS Southeast” and UTSA’s of the college football world. And if no one is playing the game, it’s going to make EA fight just as hard to get the big names involved.
So, good for Notre Dame for taking a stand. It’s about time they showed some backbone on one of the CFB’s biggest stages.
PS* — my apologies to any Roadrunner fans out there for the ricochet shot, they were the first random Group of 5 school to come to mind.