Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Closer: What is the NCAA Thinking? Chapter 45

Last week, ESPN's Jay Bilas unearthed a pixelated NCAA gold mine. Better yet, he revealed this finding on his Twitter. You would think that four years after Ed O'Bannon first filed a lawsuit against the NCAA about player-likeness being used for monetary profit, the college sport governing body would have cut all ties with anything having to do with college athletes and making money. Apparently, that wasn't the case.

Bilas received a message from someone that informed him if you looked on the NCAA Store at the Texas A&M section the jersey displayed was a number 2 jersey with the word "Football" on the back. The current #2 in Aggieland? Johnny Manziel. His nickname? Johnny Football. Coincidence? Bilas thinks not. In fact, Bilas thinks this was clear, purposeful exploitation. "It's about exploitation. Any time an entity or a person makes money off of another entity or person, while at the same time restricting that person or entity, that's exploitation. It's wrong to the point of being immoral when you really think about it." Ironically, the NCAA is currently investigating Manziel for apparently receiving money from two separate dealer to sign autographs.

Other notable active athletes that you can search for include South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney and Clemson's Tajh Boyd. As SB Nation reported, if you search Boyd's name you don't only find the star quarterback's jersey, but every athlete with the last name Boyd. For obvious reasons, when you search Jadeveon you only find one search result.

Mounted Memories

Probably my favorite aspect of this whole thing is not only can you search for the star athletes of today, but you can also find all the "trouble making" athletes of today, AND of the past. Yes, the NCAA Store is run by a third party, so the NCAA doesn't "profit" off of every sale, but they have their name slapped everywhere they possibly can on the site. On August 7th, the LATimes reported that you could search for and buy a signed photo of Reggie Bush for $179.95. For the cheap price of $180 you can buy a photo signed by a (former) Heisman Trophy winner and cover boy of NCAA Football 2007. This after the years of investigation into the "lavish" gifts received by Bush, and his eventual "voluntary" vacation of his Heisman.

I think this is just another straw breaking a dead camel's already demolished back. I really do think that it is about time that the NCAA starts down a new path with a new person leading the way.

Mark Emmert

NCAA "President" Mark Emmert was quoted as saying, "In the national office, we can certainly recognize why that could be seen as hypocritical, and indeed I think the business of having the NCAA selling those kinds of goods is a mistake, and we're going to exit that business immediately." Later, in an article posted by the Associated Press, Emmert was quoted as saying, "Have I done things in ways that were inappropriate or frustrated people by mistakes I have made? Of course. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop doing these things. That's not the way I operate."

WHAT? WHAT? "Have I done things in ways that were inappropriate.." How can the President of the NCAA actually say this? Questionable handling of the Penn State scandal, terrible handling of the Miami scandal, and continual misplaced and misinformed statements and "ideas" should be more than enough to show that Emmert is not (or at least no longer) fit to run the National Collegiate Athletic Association.


Kevin Murray is a sophomore Sport Management Major at Drexel University. He is originally from Havertown, PA, a small suburb of Philadelphia. He worked in the Drexel Sport Management Department as a Research Assistant focusing on the Penn State scandal, equity in collegiate sports, and Title IX.  Currently, Kevin is the SMTSU Treasurer and Drexel Athletics Marketing Intern.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinj_murray.

Connect with Kevin Murray on LinkedIn.

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