Hey, last night amidst all the excitement over the NFL draft, the NCAA’s chief legal officer saw fit to weigh in on the O’Bannon case.
“Instead, the plaintiffs take out of context quotes and statements from representatives of member conferences and institutions, and even NCAA officials, and attempt to weave them together to support their faulty theory.
Them bastids is even twisting our words!
How much twisting was needed for this, I wonder.
In one e-mail exchange in 2005, former NCAA official Bo Kerrin noted there is “real concern” that the NCAA’s use of athletes’ images in video games “adds to the argument that student-athletes should be unionized and receive a cut of the profits, etc.”
During a different 2005 e-mail exchange with NCAA Vice President David Berst, then-Ivy League compliance coordinator Brian Barrio questioned whether the use of personally identifiable characteristics of players in video games was a liability for the NCAA. Barrio said he heard the same concern at his previous job at Ohio State.
“This seems to go beyond the plausible deniability inherent in selling a jersey with a uniform number but no name on the back,” Barrio wrote. “Is anyone at the NCAA tracking on this issue? We wanted to make sure there is an awareness of the level of identification in this game, given that it is presently one of the highest-selling video games on the market.”
Later in that e-mail thread, NCAA membership services official Steve Mallonee raised similar concerns with NCAA colleagues Kevin Lennon and Kerrin.
“The jersey number along with the position and vital statistics is clearly an attempt to have the public make the association with the current student-athlete,” Mallonee wrote. “And it appears to be working. The Best Damn Sports Show was aired several weeks ago and had (then-USC football players) Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush acknowledging that they were in the video game.
“That then raises the issue of whether getting in line with technology means being more restrictive or lenient with our rules. … The biggest concern I have is that such a position really does allow for the maximum commercial exploitation of the (student-athlete) and if that occurs, will it be long before we can defend not giving them a piece of the profits?”
Donald, looks like you got some more ‘splainin’ to do.