Kirk Herbstreit: Ed O’Bannon took NCAA Football video game away from us
Kirk Herbstreit is a big fan of the EA Sports NCAA Football video game that has not released a new edition since 2013, and he blames former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon for taking the fun away.
O’Bannon was at the forefront of a lawsuit filed several years ago that the NCAA lost and is in the process of appealing. He believes the NCAA should have to pay athletes for profiting off their likeness in video games and across other platforms. In an interview with Alex Martin Smith of SEC Country, Herbstreit basically accused O’Bannon of being a fun sponge.
“I can’t believe Ed O’Bannon took that game away from us,” Herbstreit said.
Herbstreit is compensated by EA Sports as one of the “NCAA Football” commentators, but he said he has loved the game since long before he was a part of it. He insists collegiate athletes agree.
“You know what they’d love for their compensation to be? Just give ‘em a free game,” Herbstreit said. “That’s the compensation that they would take.
“I’ve never met one player in college football that’s like: ‘They can’t use my name and likeness! I need to be paid!’ They’re just thrilled to be on the game. They love being on the game. It’s like the biggest highlight of their life, is to be on the game.”
While he is at the center of the lawsuit, O’Bannon is hardly alone. If you saw Jay Bilas’ Twitter rant exposing the NCAA for profiting off players’ names a couple years back, you know he would agree about the NCAA Football video game. Despite that, Herbstreit has no problem singling out O’Bannon.
“Ed O’Bannon ruined that for all of us,” he said. “And hopefully we can get that fixed.”
O’Bannon spoke to Larry Brown Sports several years ago about his belief that collegiate athletes should be paid. You can watch that interview here.
H/T Dr. Saturday