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.