Whoever screwed up — whether EA Sports or some paper-pusher at the NCAA — the University of South Alabama will not be in NCAA Football 13 during the school's debut year in major college football.
While USA is one of 124 schools, and its alumni base is comparatively much, much smaller, this kind of exclusion is terrible PR in a sport which often pretends to honour meritorious performance, though reputation and favoured status, real or perceived, has great influence on what really matters — The Heisman Trophy, or those chosen to play for a national title.
The ugly slight is probably why EA Sports will go all out next year to give South Alabama red carpet major-college treatment in NCAA Football 14. The following comes from a letter sent to USA's athletics department from EA Tiburon, where NCAA is made, according to The Birmingham News.
1. During one of the games this upcoming year, EA Sports will videotape the team and cheerleader run-out onto the field at the start of a game so that we can try and replicate the run out and make it as realistic as possible.
2. EA Sports will perform a crowd recording of a South Alabama game this year and use that recording to replicate the stadium sound effects and crowd chants in the game.
3. EA Sports also wants to work closely with the South Alabama athletic department in developing the South Alabama team introductions that ESPN announcers Brad Nessler, Rece Davis and Kirk Herbstreit will talk about at the start of each game.
4. EA Sports will be adding the South Alabama mascot "South Paw" into the game so South Paw will be on the sidelines during games and also be included in the "Mascot Mash-Up" game mode.
5. EA Sports wants to meet with the South Alabama football coaches to replicate the South Alabama playbook and make it as realistic as possible to what the team uses during the 2014 season.
6. EA Sports is already looking into licensing the rights to use Ladd Peebles Stadium so EA can perform a "Stadium Scan" of the stadium and get the most authentic South Alabama stadium possible into the 2014 NCAA Football game.