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Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten pull trademarks from EA Sports game

Get ready for a case of semantics that would make a logician's head spin.

The Pac-12, SEC and Big Ten will not renew contracts with Electronic Arts to allow their conference logos and trademarks to be used in video games moving forward. However, the schools that are members of those three conferences can enter into agreements with EA on an individual basis if they so choose.

Basically, as long as the schools agree, gamers will still get to play virtual representations of Alabama against Auburn, Ohio State against Michigan, USC against UCLA, only they won't be SEC, Big Ten or Pac-12 conference games. Expect EA to go with generic conference names -- say the "South" for SEC, "Midwest" for Big Ten and "West" for Pac-12 -- assuming the schools sign off.

If they don't, then and only then would EA likely decide to abandon making new college football and basketball games entirely. The average gamer wants to play in his or her favorite team's jersey and helmet. Take away LSU or Wisconsin or Oregon and the reason for buying the game goes out the window.

The announcements are lingering fallout from the lawsuit brought by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon against the NCAA and EA over the use of likeness rights of current and former student-athletes without compensation.

If "EA College Football '15" never gets made, there's always hope for the return of "Mutant League Football," where the spinning heads were real.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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