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NCAA to terminate contract with EA Sports

The SportsXchange

The NCAA announced Wednesday that it will not renew its licensing contract for the popular college football video game with EA Sports.

The contract expires in June, making NCAA Football 2014 the last game to be produced with the current name.

The NCAA's decision undoubtedly was prompted by the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit, which could force college athletic programs to split television revenue with the players.

"Our timing is based on the need to provide EA notice for future planning," the NCAA said in a statement. "As a result, the NCAA Football 2014 video game will be the last to include the NCAA's name and logo.

"We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games. 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."

There is a possibility that the game could continue under a different name. The NCAA statement appears to leave decisions regarding trademarks and licenses in the hands of the schools and conferences.

"The NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA," the statement read. "The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes. Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game. They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future."
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