If you think that Mark Emmert’s magic is made up of equal parts of arrogance, self-righteousness and selfishness, this article about revenue generated by collegiate apparel sales won’t do anything to dispel your belief.
First, the arrogance.
… Although Robinson’s name is not on the back of the jersey, it’s clear fans are buying it because he’s the most marketable player on the team. Yet Robinson sees no money from those sales, as NCAA president Mark Emmert says it should be.
“They didn’t come to college because there was financial gain involved,” Emmert told CNBC. “They came because they wanted to come to school and to participate in sports. If they choose to become pros after that, that’s all well and good, but this is not about creating new opportunities for them to monetize their position.”
How does he know what’s on the mind of every college kid? We live in an age when plenty of colleges sell their abilities to prepare players for the NFL and NBA to recruits. Does Emmert have a clue why that sort of sales pitch might be appealing? Hint: financial gain is involved.
Besides that, I’d love to hear how Emmert squares this no expectation of financial gain argument with his $2000 stipend proposal.
Then there’s the self-righteousness.
… Not only do high profile players not make a dime off their jersey sales, they also can’t sell the jerseys that they wear. Five Ohio State players got suspended for five games this year for selling their memorabilia.
Yet the school can sell their gear and make the money off it. Auburn sold the pants worn by Cam Newton in the title game for $1,500, while Michigan sold the pants worn by Denard Robinson in this year’s night game against Notre Dame for $1,300.
Emmert says schools can do that because of where the money is going.
“If a school is selling jerseys or memorabilia, then we need to know, are they taking those resources and putting them back into support for student-athletes and athletic programs?” Emmert said. “In every case that I know, those revenues go to support the student-athlete.”
Their hearts are pure! Besides, everybody knows if those revenues flow directly to the student-athlete (by the way, how is that not support?), he’ll just waste it on hip-hop music and tattoos.
Oh, and let’s not forget the selfish part.
… Emmert admits that part of the reason why he believes athletes will never get paid for their jersey sales or memorabilia while they are eligible is that it’s way too complex.
“We have a similar situation where schools compete for each other around athletes,” Emmert said. “We have agents competing over who’s going to get a student-athlete. You immediately open the door for all those forces coming in and structuring a force model to try and curry favor with the student-athlete. If on the other hand, an institution generates a stream of revenue that allows it to continue running an athletic program, you’ve got a completely different model where revenues are going and what they’re being used for.”
In other words, it’s okay to curry favor with the NCAA and its members. Just don’t be trying any of that “force model” shit around the players. Whatever in the hell a “force model” is, anyway. I doubt Emmert could explain it beyond saying it belongs to him and he’s not sharing. That’s about as complex as he cares to get.
It’s not like this garbage is going to lead to an “Occupy NCAA” moment. It’s just that Emmert would deserve it if it ever did.