Closing the barn door after the horse is long gone

Some well intended, but ultimately useless, commentary posted at the NCAA site by the commissioner of the Horizon League:

… The primary reason sports exist on university campuses is that it is intended to add value to the educational experience of the participants. Simply put, college athletics is supposed to be about an educational experience that focuses on competing, learning and serving. It is not primarily and was not intended to be an overtly commercialized enterprise that emphasizes brand, market share and TV ratings.

Talk to the hand, Mr. LeCrone.

… Boilermaker fans (or readers with a general cleat fetish) may want to head over to Purdue’s official website at some point in the next 32 hours, where they’ll find the opportunity to bid on a pair of size 14 Nikes worn by All-Big Ten defensive end/future first-rounder Ryan Kerrigan during the 2009 season. You know they’re real because they “feature many marks and scuffs authenticating them as game-worn,” and because Kerrigan autographed them. Early bidding for this small piece of one of your favorite players is only up to $175.

What’s that? You thought peddling memorabilia actually used by student-athletes in amateur competition was outlawed by the NCAA? Didn’t Georgia receiver A.J. Green just miss an entire month’s worth of games because he sold a game-worn jersey for some “extra cash” last January? Silly: It’s perfectly fine, as long as it’s the professionals at the school, the manufacturer, the retailer and the NCAA that profit from the sale, and not the impressionable student-athlete himself.

Honestly, I don’t know how these guys keep a straight face as they lecture us on the sins of commercialism.  As even LeCrone admits, “The NCAA, once primarily a regulatory outfit focused on enforcement and championships, now actively manages programs in revenue generation, branding, marketing, promotion and positioning the “Blue Disk.”” It’s just good bidness, right?  Especially if you can cut off competition from the very kids you both regulate and exploit.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

10 responses to “Closing the barn door after the horse is long gone

  1. TennesseeDawg

    Maybe the Horizon League does add value to the educational experience of the participants because 95% of Americans couldn’t name one team in the Horizon League.


    • Hobbes

      When I first read the entry I was thinking that Horizon League was an A or AA baseball league. Seriously.

      I am plagiarizing the heck out of “Blogger please.”


  2. HobnailedBoots

    And to think a Bama fan once had the audacity to tell me that there was nothing hypocritical about AJ’s suspension, because he broke the rules of a “noble” system.


  3. Go Dawgs!

    I think it’s illuminating that they had to go all the way to the Horizon League to find a conference commissioner willing to be quoted on the record saying that it’s a bad thing.


  4. gastr1

    All that rhetoric was actually true back in the 1940s or so…but when the college presidents saw the dollars in the television set the academic value was all too easily dismissed.

    College presidents are absolutely to blame, too, though I ma not sure who could fault them given their job description being so heavily tilted toward fundraising.


  5. thewhiteshark

    Wait a minute. I thought all those #8’s Georgia has been selling was coincidental and that those were just generic jerseys that could have belonged to any player.

    So somebody can make money off of the kid’s autographed shoes — just not the player. The NCAA stinketh.


    • Go Dawgs!


      The fact that they can sell an autographed item from a kid that is still playing basically shatters even the plausible deniabilty that “oh, it’s just a jersey with an 8 on it, it’s not related to AJ Green”. What’s done is done, and clearly AJ’s physical presence doesn’t equal victory, but it’s a joke that the kid can’t profit off a piece of his own property (given to him by the University as a bowl gift, and no longer UGA property) while the school could sell the exact same item with an autograph and deposit the check.


  6. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The NCAA’s hypocrisy is palpable.