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Friday, October 31, 2014

Jay Bilas on Twitter exposes NCAA for profiting off athletes’ names

Jay Bilas, a former four-year starter at Duke and current college basketball analyst for ESPN, absolutely crushed the NCAA for its hypocritical practices. Bilas is a staunch advocate for collegiate athlete rights and frequently points out the NCAA’s flaws. On Tuesday, Bilas took it to a new level via his Twitter account.

Bilas exposed the NCAA for profiting off the names of its star athletes while punishing the athletes for doing the same. His takedown of the NCAA came in the context of the organization investigating Johnny Manziel for allegedly getting paid to sign autographs. Bilas pointed out that the NCAA’s official store leads you to specific player pages if you search for some star athletes. For instance, take a look at what happens when you seach “manziel” on the NCAA’s shop:

Bilas left this one out, but there is a Texas A&M Heisman shirt being sold at the NCAA’s official shop that mentions Manziel by name in the item’s description:

NCAA store Johnny Manziel shirt

Bilas pointed out that you get clothing item pages when you search for “Clowney,” “Tajh Boyd,” “Teddy Bridgewater,” “Silas Redd,” “A.J. McCarron,” “DeAnthony Thomas,” and “Marqise Lee,” who are all star college football players. Even players who got into trouble with the NCAA or are no longer in college, like Nerlens Noel, Shabazz Muhammad, Denard Robinson, and Everett Golson, have their likeness represented at the NCAA’s shop. You can see all those examples below:

In the same spirit of the NCAA’s shop, tipster Joel sends in a link to a page at the NCAA shop where a Reggie Bush autographed photo is being sold. Remember, this is the same Reggie Bush who was stripped of his Heisman Trophy for breaking NCAA rules.

Reggie Bush NCAA shop autograph

Bilas has a simple question: if Manziel and other popular collegiate athletes can’t profit off their name and popularity, why should the NCAA be allowed to? The NCAA must recognize that that is a good point, because they have already disabled the search function at their online shop.

Jon Solomon of AL.com also says that the lawyers in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit may use Bilas’ discovery in their case. In the suit, the NCAA says they don’t profit off the names, images, or likenesses of college athletes. As we have just shown multiple times, that clearly is not the case.

H/T Campus Union



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