I know it’s only June, but I’m prepared to say this wins the Tortured Analogy of the Year Award, going away:
During testimony, O’Bannon economic expert Daniel Rascher cited Ohio State’s appearance in the 2011 Sugar Bowl and Manziel’s season-opening game in 2013 as examples of why paying players won’t hurt the product. Several Ohio State players were allowed to play after selling memorabilia for tattoos, and Manziel was suspended for a half after selling his autograph. In both games, TV ratings and fan interest remained high despite the public knowing that players had accepted benefits against NCAA rules, Rascher testified.
NCAA attorney Rohit Singla noted that the Harding-Nancy Kerrigan figure skating duel at the 1994 Olympics drew huge ratings, suggesting that unusual events (even if they’re negative) can draw interest. Singla asked Rascher whether he was saying that because everyone watched Harding vs. Kerrigan that you should attack someone.
Rascher looked perplexed at the question.
Gee, I wonder why.
I’m reminded of the way baseball owners originally reacted when players won free agency. They spent years denigrating the players as a pack of greedy swine. Regardless of the truth of that, what idiot in business goes around trashing his or her product in public to fans? And why do I have the feeling the NCAA is about to use the same playbook?