It depends on the sport, really. Personally, I think baseball could use more complexity. User Trevytrev and I came up with a defensive system that incorporated things such as a sprint button, catch button, "strafe" button, shade sun option, different types of dives with the stick, etc. It would be an option of course, but it made perfect logical sense with the controller and put the control properly in the gamer's hands.
I'm all for inaccessibility, as long as it functions as intended and there are simpler options for others..
Personally, I don't see why a sports game needs to be any less complex than any other type of game. Just because it depicts a sport shouldn't necessitate that it be easy, unless it's made for that purpose, like NBA Jam or NFL Blitz. This is why we have distinctions like Arcade or Sim.
If I'm picking up an RPG, there's certain elements and rules I know I need to be prepared for, or else I just move on to something else. I feel, particularly in Madden's case, the incessant need to make it more "family friendly" or accessible is one of the exact reasons it fell apart in the previous generation. Real life football on Sundays is a complex game, the NFL didn't try to make it easier to understand so women and kids could enjoy it more, some women and kids simply decide to try to watch it and enjoy time with their husbands/fathers. Video Games should be no different...
I don't think its too complicated. What I hate is when I finally master a control scheme, like I did with NBA 2k at one point, then they will just totally revamp everything and I have to relearn everything. As in sports a lot of your skills come from muscle memory, reps, and reactionary response, and its just frustrating when a new game comes out, and you feel like a total newb at the start because you have to re-learn the controls.
Sports games have become to complex in the sense that menus and controls are out of control! Take Madden for example and the run free controls, to me it just kills that part of the game! Why do I have to pull a trigger, push a button on my cell phone, and tweet something just to make my RB juke or spin??? I dont want it to be dumbed down either, I just want it to be simple and plain like Madden 06, one button for each move, simple! In a way the menus look simple enough but really they are a mess and not very user friendly and again the Madden 06 menus were simple but very inviting and fun! To me franchise mode has been destroyed as far as the fun factor because of poor menu system! Im all for deep modes, menus, and control options but would rather have the fun factor and excitement that sports game use to bring to me! Thats what this article is really about and its 100% right!!!