Last month, the NCAA announced that it would no longer be a part of the hugely popular EA Sports NCAA College Football series.
Now, one of The Association’s most powerful conferences has followed suit.
In a statement, the SEC announced that it would no longer license its trademarks — i.e. its logos — to the EA Sports franchise from here on out. All 14 conference members agreed to remove the league from the game.
“Each school makes its own individual decision regarding whether or not to license their trademarks for use in the EA Sports game(s),” the SEC’s statement read. “The Southeastern Conference has chosen not to do so moving forward.
“Neither the SEC, its member universities, nor the NCAA have ever licensed the right to use the name or likeness of any student to EA Sports.”
The NCAA has been embroiled in a legal fight over the past several months that has the potential to change the face of “amateur” athletics at the collegiate level. Legal costs associated with that fight and the “current business climate” were cited by the NCAA when it announced that it would no longer be a part of the video game.
It’s unclear whether other conferences will follow the SEC’s lead, although both the Big 12 and Big Ten have been undergoing internal discussions regarding this very issue.
UPDATED 3:31 p.m. ET: As it turns out, the Big Ten’s internal discussions resulted in the same policy as the SEC’s. In an update to their previous report, ESPN confirmed that the Big Ten will no longer license its trademark to the EA Sports NCAA football video game.
UPDATED 3:36 p.m. ET: Shortly after the previous update was posted, CFT received confirmation that the Pac-12 has followed the lead of the other two conferences and will not renew its license with EA Sports. Individual schools, however, will be permitted to renew its license with the company, although most if not all are expected to decline that option.