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Court explains why EA Sports could bring back 'NCAA Football' at some point

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This is far from a guarantee EA and the NCAA will choose to revive the series, but it shows a reason why it could. The ruling itself affirms one new source of player compensation but walks back another.

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the NCAA violates antitrust laws by curbing how much athletes can receive while playing collegiate sports.

The court said schools have to be allowed to pay cost of attendance, extra scholarship money for academic supplies, transportation and other necessary expenses. The decision is complicated for the future of athlete compensation, however, as the ruling also struck down a plan to provide up to $5,000 of extra funds (from the original O'Bannon ruling) per year to athletes.

The ruling did have some of the same "amateurism is amateurism because amateurism" language we've seen from the NCAA in recent years, however.

SB Nation's David Fucillo says an appeal to the Supreme Court could be a no-lose situation for the NCAA, as the court would likely rule fairly narrowly on this case if they side with O'Bannon, while a complete reversal would obviously be a win for the NCAA.

One potential, actual development regards the much-loved NCAA Football video game series.

What does this have to do with the video game series? EA halted the NCAA Football series two years ago amid lawsuits against the NCAA over a lack of compensation for players. If the NCAA agrees to compensate players whose likenesses are used in the games (and if the rules allow for such compensation), the lucrative series could continue.

Basically, the court said, "Hey, you made a lot of money on these games before, why exactly should we believe that you won't do it again?" And that ... seems about right! The NCAA has a lot to sort out when it comes to athlete compensation, but it's always been in favor of making more money. These games have made the NCAA a lot of money, so it's not silly to think they'll probably want to do that again someday.

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