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The most powerful conference in college football just sacked EA.
The Southeastern Conference, which oversees athletics for schools like Alabama and Louisiana State University, is announcing that it won’t participate in the next college football game from Electronic Arts, according to ESPN.
This follows a similar announcement from the NCAA, which revealed that it is ending its contract with EA Sports for the NCAA Football series of games. EA will continue to make college football games with real college teams under a new title.
What this means is that the SEC brand can’t appear in EA’s next game. Instead of the SEC Championship, players will likely have to play in some generic division championship, but this won’t prohibit LSU or any other SEC team from agreeing to a licensing deal with the publisher.
“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 said in a statement. “The Southeastern Conference has chosen not to do so moving forward.”
The NCAA and EA are both involved in litigation over the use of college athletes in products without reimbursing the individual players. In its announcement that it is dropping the EA contract, the NCAA cited the cost of litigation as one of the factors in its decision. The SEC seems to have similar concerns.
“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,” reads the SEC statement.