The war on false amateurism is coming, and rather than fight for its position, the NCAA has decided to beat a full-scale retreat immediately. With a lawsuit against NCAA’s basketball video games on one hand by former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon and the controversy surrounding Johnny Manziel allegedly taking money for his autograph (while an NCAA store search for Manziel went straight to his nameless #2 Texas A&M Aggies jersey), college athletics has been increasingly tangled in its own greed for tie-in dollars. Now, the president of the NCAA is stepping back from the brink. The NCAA is shutting down its online store.
“The business of having the NCAA sell those kinds of goods is a mistake, and we are going to exit that business immediately,” said NCAA president Mark Emmert. ”It is not something that is core to what the NCAA is about. It probably never should have been in that business.”
The easiest solutions to the NCAA problem are ones the organization can’t legally do. They increased potential pay to athletes, but that obviously wasn’t enough for former athletes on whose likeness the NCAA has been making money for ages. They’re not getting rid of all their marketing; schools will still be able to sell their jerseys and whatnot, and EA Sports will continue to make college football games with the permission of individual schools, rather than the NCAA as a whole. So, basically, the NCAA is taking baby steps towards improvement without making any real improvement.
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