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Trying to boycott the EA Sports licensing deal, right now, is a bad idea

On apples, oranges, and picking your battles:

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A few weeks ago, EA told ESPN that the company had secured a partner to help facilitate payments to current college athletes for their NIL in next year’s EA Sports College Football video game. That organization will be OneTeam Partners, and while the full specifics of the agreement are not finalized yet, I have been told that the individual rights fee is likely to be in the “mid to high three figures” range. Multiple other outlets, like On3 and Sportico, have reported $500 as the rights fee.

At last week’s NIL Summit, Friend Of The Newsletter Andy Wittry spoke to several FBS athletes about participating in the EA Sports project. This quote, from Kansas QB Jalon Daniels and Stanford CB Terian Williams III, made the rounds, on whether athletes could see their peers trying to hold out for more money:

Before a reporter finished asking Kansas‘s reigning All-Big 12 second-team quarterback Jalon Daniels whether or not he could see high-profile players, especially those with agents, trying to negotiate for more money, Daniels said that he could.

“Yes. Yes. I can definitely see that,” Daniels said. “I could definitely see it, especially with the highest college football players that are in the nation right now. If they’re getting paid as, you know, somebody who a lot of people really don’t know of and they’re the most known person in college football, I can definitely see their agent saying, ‘Alright, what’s going on here?'”

Stanford cornerback Terian Williams II agreed.

“I definitely can see that happening,” he said

They aren’t alone. Jason Stahl, Executive Director of the College Football Players Association (CFBPA), sent out a newsletter Wednesday morning proclaiming that the EA Sports licensing deal is “Bad for College Football Players”, and suggested players should not sign it. Justin Falcinelli, a former Clemson center and the CFPBA’s Vice President, echoed those claims in an interview with On3, calling for a boycott, saying ““All current players should boycott this deal. It is an opt-in deal, and they should not opt into it.”

Longtime Extra Points readers should know that broadly, I’m pretty sympathetic to player labor concerns.

But I think calls for a boycott, especially before this deal is even finalized and sent to athletes, is a bad organizing strategy and bad for current athletes.

Here’s why.

You cannot compare the Madden licensing deal to any college football video game licensing deal

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