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"NCAA Football 14" Image: Electronic Arts.

Spurred by a major reversal by the NCAA, video game giant Electronic Arts says it is in the "early stages" of exploring the "possibility of including players in EA Sports College Football," a company rep tells Axios.

Why it matters: EA, once the subject of a major lawsuit from NCAA athletes over the use of their likeness in the company's video games, seemingly has the option to use them again, as restrictions against paying college athletes fall.

Catch up quick: The rapidly changing state of play comes from a late-June ruling by the Supreme Court that bars the NCAA from limiting academic benefits to college athletes.

  • Yesterday, the NCAA said that it would no longer bar players from profiting off their name, image and likeness.

What they're saying: "We are watching the recent developments regarding student-athlete name, image and likeness very closely. It’s still very early stages at this point, and we plan to explore the possibility of including players in EA Sports College Football," the EA rep told Axios.

Between the lines: EA has long been a powerhouse in sports video game development, but ceased its production of NCAA-branded basketball and football games by 2013.

  • A 2009 lawsuit led by former UCLA star Ed O'Bannon against EA and college sports organizations over apparent use of athletes' likeness in EA's games, resulted in a $60 million settlement.
  • EA announced its return to college sports gaming in February, with "EA Sports College Football." At the time of the announcement, EA said it was working with the Collegiate Licensing Company to feature more than 100 teams, but no players.

What's next: EA's new game has no release date, and the brand-new rules for college athletes are something many businesses will need time to figure out.

Go deeper: The next era of college sports

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Aug 25, 2021 - Sports

ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 form alliance

Graphic: Axios Visuals

Amid the SEC's growing power, the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 announced Tuesday that they have formed an "alliance" to navigate the uncertain future of college athletics.

Details: The three conferences, which include 41 schools across 25 states, agreed to tackle specific topics together — including the future structure of the NCAA and social justice issues — all in the name of unity.

House Democrats strip Iron Dome money from government funding bill

Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democrats on Tuesday stripped $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome defense system from its short-term government funding bill after backlash from progressives, people familiar with the decision tell Axios.

Why it matters: There has never a situation where military aid for Israel was held up because of objections from members of Congress. While the funding will likely get a vote in a future defense bill, the clash underscores the deep divisions within the Democratic party over Israel.

Oversight Board calls for more Facebook transparency

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Facebook Oversight Board on Tuesday called on the social media giant to "commit to transparency" in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report last week that millions of high-profile users get special treatment by content moderators.

Why it matters: Although initially funded by Facebook, the Oversight Board operates independently as a kind of Supreme Court for the platform. The company has agreed to obey its rulings on specific content disputes, but the board's broader policy advice is strictly on a "recommendation" basis.