Arch Manning Had a Solid Reason to Reject Money From EA Sports

The Texas QB opted out of being included in the video game "EA Sports College Football 25"

Arch Manning of the Texas Longhorns warms up prior to playing.
Backup QB Arch Manning warms up for the Texas Longhorns.
Chris Graythen/Getty

For most college students, $600 is a small fortune — enough cash to keep them in cheap beer and cheaper pizza for at least a couple of months. However, Texas Longhorns quarterback Arch Manning, the nephew of former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli and grandson of 74-year-old Archie Manning, is not most college students; and he recently opted out of receiving $600 to appear in the video game EA Sports College Football 25, as first reported by

Unlike the more than 10,000 college football players who have already opted in to appear in College Football 25, Manning has denied EA Sports the right to use his name, image and likeness (NIL) and forfeit his opportunity to receive $600 and a copy of the game, valued at around $70. Manning, a sophomore who attempted only five passes last season while serving as a backup to Texas starter Quinn Ewers, actually has a good reason for turning down the cash and was not simply turning his nose up at the money because, given his family tree, he doesn’t really need it.

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According to ESPN, Manning opted out of the game and the money because he wanted to wait until “he was the guy” at Texas before cashing in with an NIL deal. That report jibes with Texas coach Steve Sarkisian telling media members in 2023 that Manning would not be taking any NIL money until he becomes the starting quarterback for the Longhorns.

“Everybody is under this assumption that this was an NIL deal for him to come to the University of Texas. It was absolutely not,” Sarkisian told The Athletic last April. “He loves the coaches and he loves the program. This is not about NIL. He’s taken zero money from an NIL perspective.”

And even if he wanted to, Manning’s grandfather wouldn’t let him. “The beauty of it for us, his NIL value — whatever it is — his grandpa [Archie] won’t let him take any NIL money,” Sarkisian said. “He said, ‘You can take money when you become a player and you start.’”

At this point, Manning may have to wait until his junior year to make any NIL money as Ewers decided to return to Texas after leading the Longhorns to a Big 12 title and their first appearance in the College Football Playoff. It’s a tough break for the 18-year-old, but at least he’s got family members with enough disposable income to lend him some money for pizza.

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