Aaron Hernandez, the New England Patriots tight end charged with murder
on June 26, has been removed from Madden 25
and NCAA 14
. Players that happen to unlock Hernandez's Ultimate Team card in NCAA 14 by getting a gold medal in the game's Shovel Option drill in the Skills Trainer mode will see the card turn into that of current Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. A future title update will remove Hernandez from the game entirely. EA Sports' statement reads:
"We have 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. 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 will be removed via a Title Update in the near future."
's Ultimate Team mode, the college football series' version of EA Sports' card-collecting mode seen in many of its games, features thousands of unlockable, real-life athletes. The athletes, many being current NFL players, represent the colleges they attended. In Hernandez's case, his likeness in NCAA 14
was tied to the Florida Gators. He was released by the Patriots on the day he was arraigned, so were he in Madden 25
, he would have been a free agent.