Pac-12, Big Ten join SEC in abandoning EA Sports' college football game franchise
The Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences have joined the SEC in choosing not to renew their licensing agreement with EA Sports for future college football games. Although the conferences have chosen not to have their names or logos included in future college football games, each individual school has the right to make its own decision.
"The Pac-12 Conference has decided not to renew its current licensing agreement with EA Sports that allows the use of Conference trademarks," Pac-12 spokesman Erik Hardenbergh told CBS Sports. "Our member institutions continue to make decisions on their trademarks on a school-by-school basis."
The decision to back out of any licensing agreement seems to be sparked by the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit filed by former college athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Electronic Arts alleging the college football games used their likenesses without permission.
EA Sports has vowed it will continue making college football games even without the NCAA's licensing, but this was before each individual conference announced their decisions. The Big 12 and the ACC, the last of what's considered to be the big five football conferences, have yet to announce their plans.
It's worth noting that each of these decisions have come after EA signed a three-year, non-exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the company that handles school trademarks. While the conferences' minds have been made up, we've yet to hear from individual universities; though, there seems to be a real possibility that the schools in said conferences might soon follow suit.
Unfortunately, for us college football fans, there's nothing we can do but wait. I've reached out to EA for comment, but have yet to hear back. Would you buy a college football game without the SEC, Pac-12, and Big Ten names associated?