SEC, Big Ten won't license to EA

Updated: August 14, 2013, 4:13 PM ET
By Kristi Dosh | ESPN.com

The Southeastern Conference, Big Ten and Pac-12 have joined the NCAA in announcing they will no longer license their conference trademarks in the EA Sports NCAA football video game.

The development comes a month after the NCAA said it would not license its trademarks, either. That ruling, however, allowed each individual institution and conference to license its trademarks with EA Sports for future college football games.

"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.

"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 Collegiate Licensing Company recently announced it completed licensing agreements for approximately 150 of the institutions it represents, including some SEC institutions.

The NCAA's statement last month included similar language about current student-athletes but cited legal costs as the reason for not renewing its contract with EA Sports.

"We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games," the NCAA said. "But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA."

The NCAA is currently embattled in a lawsuit with current and former student-athletes, led by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon, over the alleged use of their likenesses in EA Sports video games without compensation.

Kristi Dosh

Sports Business
Dosh covers sports business for ESPN. She is an attorney, founder of BusinessOfCollegeSports.com, and joined ESPN in October 2011.
Author of "Saturday Millionaires: How winning football builds winning colleges."

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