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SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12 won't participate in EA Sports college football game

The biggest conference in the country -- as well as it's B1Ggest -- will not have any of its trademarks appear in new versions of EA Sports College Football. Will more conferences and schools follow suit?

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Update: The Big Ten is out, too.

Update 2: As is the Pac-12.

The SEC has joined the NCAA in declining to license its trademarks for future EA Sports college football video games, according to Kristi Dosh of ESPN. Individual schools within the conference can license their trademarks for upcoming games, but moving forward, you won't find any SEC trademarks in the new games.

Schools and conferences can opt out of the new video game series, which is tentatively being called simply College Football, through EA's licensing agreement with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC). The CLC holds the collective licensing rights of just under 200 schools, but it sounds like some are going to take a hard look at whether they want to continue exposing themselves to potential liability by continuing to be involved with the video game series.

For instance, this from Stanford deputy athletic director Patrick Dunkley:

"I want to get the best understanding I can about what they see as the legal risks so we can analyze those risks and any other risks that we think may exist," said Dunkley, an attorney. "To the extent those risks exist, we want to determine if there's a way to mitigate them through the agreements. If so, maybe we proceed. If not, maybe we don't."

As Team Speed Kills points out, this is in part about self-protection:

The reason is simple. The Ed O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA, Collegiate Licensing Company, and EA is getting serious, and it's expensive to pay lawyers to defend yourself. The SEC is not a defendant in the case, but this move shows that it really doesn't want to become a defendant in future lawsuits if at all possible. Part of its statement today was a reminder that the SEC doesn't license the rights to use player names or likenesses to EA.

Could this be the first move in a bigger shift?

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