After an early version of its NCAA Football 14 game presented players with the prize depicted above -- Aaron Hernandez available to be used in the game's Ultimate Team Mode -- a representative from EA Sports told CBSsports.com that the video game manufacturer has decided to remove the former Patriot from that title, as well as the soon-to-be-released Madden 25, after the tight end was charged with murder.
"We made a decision to remove Aaron Hernandez from Madden NFL 25 and NCAA Football 14. Because NCAA Football 14 was finalized prior to our decision, Hernandez' image still appears in the Nike Skills Trainer," an EA Sports spokesman said to CBS. "However, he is not in the game, and anyone who unlocks that particular Nike Skills Trainer reward will receive an Alex Smith Ultimate Team player item instead."
The image of Hernandez, who was released by the Patriots after being arrested in connection to the killing of Odin Lloyd, will be removed altogether in a forthcoming online title update.
NCAA 14 won't actually be released for general sale until Tuesday, but some EA subscribers were able to download the game as early as last Friday. EA's ever-popular Madden game isn't scheduled for release until Aug. 27, and while Hernandez wouldn't be on the Patriots roster in that game anyway -- having been released -- he won't show up among the free-agent pool, either.
The author is solely responsible for the content.