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FENNO: NCAA paying the price for latest Bush-league move
Question of the Day
The site offered T-shirts commemorating Joe Paterno’s 400th win that the NCAA vacated. Same for Georgia Tech’s 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference football title take away by the NCAA. We’ll punish you and still hawk your gear because, well, we can.
In a conference call with reporters last week, Emmert admitted the arrangement appeared hypocritical and pledged an immediate exit to the memorabilia business. This is the same tactic the NCAA used to end its relationship with EA Sports earlier this year after the morass of litigation over use of athletes’ likenesses in video games bearing the NCAA’s logo.
A statement by another NCAA executive talked of “becoming aware” of issues with the store. When, exactly, did these epiphanies strike? When Bilas‘ fingers touched his keyboard? When the scam went public? When someone could type in Matt Barkley and Kirk Cousins and Andrew Luck and E.J. Manuel and dozens of other standouts and only be separated from the college jerseys by a credit-card number and three-day shipping?
The answer is as obvious as the attempts to squeeze an extra dollar or two out of the failed policies propped up by Emmert’s gang. The whack-a-mole succession of scandals, large and small, points not just to an organization in disarray, but one built on an unsustainable foundation of pretending the only ones who can’t profit from the multibillion business are the product. The athletes. The ones making the jerseys famous.
Removing the inconvenient website can’t hide the problem any more than the NCAA can’t pretend USC didn’t win the 2005 Orange Bowl. After all, there’s a picture.
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About the Author
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