Posted August 06, 2013

ESPN’s Jay Bilas takes NCAA store to task for profiting off player likenesses

NCAA, NCAA Reform, O'Bannon v. NCAA, Twitter

By Zac Ellis

As the NCAA investigates Johnny Manziel allegedly profiting off his own autographs, calls of the governing body’s hypocrisy have exploded. ESPN college basketball analyst and resident NCAA critic Jay Bilas unleashed a series of critical tweets Tuesday featuring screenshots of the NCAA’s online shop, ShopNCAAsports.com. Though team T-shirts and jerseys found at the store don’t feature the names of current players — per NCAA rules — Bilas stumbled upon a glaring correlation between current student athlete’s names and jersey numbers.

Bilas, fueled by his anger over the NCAA’s hypocrisy, even took a shot at the executive committee:

After Bilas’ searches began to make waves on social media, the NCAA online store put an end to the fun.

Former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon’s case against the NCAA, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company over the use player likenesses in television broadcasts and video games gets to the crux of the issue. The lawsuit went before a U.S. Circuit Court judge in June for hear arguments for class-action certification. In July, U.S circuit judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the plaintiffs could amend their complaint and add a current-student athlete to the lawsuit, a move that many considered a precursor to certifying the suit. Six current college football players joined the suit soon after.

In response to the plaintiffs’ request for class-action status, the NCAA released a statement in April reiterating that the organization does not exploit student-athletes.

“The fact remains — the NCAA is not exploiting current or former student-athletes but instead provides enormous benefit to them and the public. Plaintiffs are wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. The NCAA remains hopeful the court will agree and deny this motion.”

EA Sports lost a separate but similar case earlier this month, one put forth by former Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller surrounding the use of player likenesses in video games. EA Sports lost an appeal of a U.S. District Court decision which ruled that the video-game maker could not use former athletes’ likenesses without consent or compensation. The ruling could have an impact on the O’Bannon v. NCAA case.

25 comments
ToddK
ToddK

Hypocrisy in motion.  I'm actually anti paying players, but how you refuse to pay them or let them sign autographs, then use them for your own profit in video games and jerseys being sold......

vanonymous
vanonymous

OK, they hid the search bar (and even if you unhide it, it seems to be disabled).

But check this item out:

http://www.shopncaasports.com/NCAASports_Texas_A_And_M_Aggies/adidas_Texas_A_And_M_Aggies_No_Heisman_Without_The_Man_T-Shirt_-_Maroon

The description:

"Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel took the SEC by storm last year as he lead the Aggies to a 11-2 record and won the Cotton Bowl. Topping things off, Manziel became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman trophy in the history of the NCAA. Celebrate #2 and his historical first year by sporting this No Heisman Without the Man T-shirt. This adidas tee features “No Heisman Without the Man” lettering printed on the front with a Heisman Trophy graphic and a Texas A&M wordmark printed on the front. Make sure everyone knows that Manziel is the man with this tee!"

Sure seems to be directly profiting from his name/accomplishments, at least to my way of thinking.

Hola
Hola

Hilarious....Give them hell, Jay Bilas. 

MarkBlackford
MarkBlackford

Jay- It is the rules. You don't like 'em don't play college football. Buckeyes were busted for their players selling THEIR OWN POSSESSIONS. You seemed pretty quiet then.  

BosephHeyden
BosephHeyden

This all reminds me of that episode of South Park where Cartman dressed up like a plantation owner to buy some "slaves"....errr..."student athletes".

SteveRowFla
SteveRowFla

The players receive over $300k in education, shelter, food, training, tutoring, health care, etc., over 5 years.  Do you know any other students, or for that matter people who make that much over the first 5 years of their adult lives?  Not many.

chrisk1250
chrisk1250

They removed the search bar from the site. And by removed I mean they hid it. Here's the code: div#headerFrameSearchContainer { display: none; }

Use any browser, inspect and take out "display:none;" and it's back.

JeffOH12
JeffOH12

@MarkBlackford That's how it always is. The media is speaking up now because of the Bama/A&M game. They want him to play. Even though they jumped all over the NCAA for letting the Buckeyes play in The Sugar Bowl. 

mystafugee
mystafugee

@SteveRowFla If that's the case they are being paid then what's the big deal about getting money on the side.  BTW...not every players get a full ride and those scholarships are only guaranteed for one year and you basically give up all your rights.  I should mention the value those scholarships have to many players are somewhere around $0.  

NathanStevens
NathanStevens

@SteveRowFla Have you seen their schedules? Have you seen how hard they work between sports/school? They deserve more than that.

Until you've been in their shoes, don't pretend to know what they go through, and more importantly what is fair/unfair.

Nederoski
Nederoski

@chrisk1250 I did this too, and at first it would just not load when I tried to search for something, because they had it "blocked" as well. If you go through the style editor and delete the code associated with div#FrameSearchContainer that says "blocked", it will allow you to search the site. However, they've unlinked all the jerseys. When I typed in "Manziel", I got a page that said " We were unable to find an exact match to your search, but we still might carry your product or one very similar".

SteveRowFla
SteveRowFla

@NathanStevens @SteveRowFla Actually, I have been in their shoes.  I played Division 1 college football in Florida.  We were treated like royalty.  While my girlfriend had to wait in line for tutoring help, it was available to me at my convenience.  I broke my hand at the beach during the summer, and the surgery was provided by the university.  Did we work hard? Yes, part of the year.  But my friends who waited tables until 2 a.m. to put themselves through school worked harder.  Now, stop being a fanboi and stick to something about which you're knowledgeable.

jweg84
jweg84

@Nederoski @chrisk1250 They removed the search bar and the links to the different players jerseys because the NCAA is guilty. It's a "crime" for the players to make money but it is certainly acceptable for the NCAA to make money off their athletes. They want to keep the players hands out of their proverbial cookie jar.


Aggieproud
Aggieproud

@SteveRowFla @NathanStevens Not sure where you "played college ball" but it must not have been a very good team if you only worked hard part of the year.  What I do know is that far more is given in scholarships for academics and the arts and those students are allowed to profit  from the same areas.  In fact students with academic scholarships are encouraged to take internships, many of which pay very high dollar amounts.  Students with music scholarships are encouraged to play at the local hangouts for money.  Why should athletic scholarships be any different?  Not to mention, the recognition of athletes and athletic programs add value to networks and degrees for everyone that gets a degree.


Johnny9
Johnny9

Can you send me a nude pic of your GF?  

eddie767
eddie767

@SteveRowFla You must've been on the bench,since most work hard year round. The other part you forgot to mention is,most can't hold a job. But obviously you got it Manziel's way.

NathanStevens
NathanStevens

Just curious, what team in Florida did you play for and in what year? Your situation isn't the same across the board. Not sure if you fully realize that.

BosephHeyden
BosephHeyden

@SteveRowFla @NathanStevens Ummm...you went to Florida, that's why.  There's something wrong with that state, in case you haven't been paying attention to the news for the past 20+ years.