Aug 6 2013, 10:30pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
In the wake of Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel profiting from his own autographs, Bilas logged on to ShopNCAAsports.com on Tuesday and was appalled by what he saw - a correlation between student athlete's names and jersey numbers, per Sports Illustrated's Zac Ellis.
For instance, he asked his Twitter followers who are more than 500,000 in number to log on to the NCAA's online shop and type in "Manziel" in the upper right search box and then hit enter.
This would direct the potential consumer to a page which features items from Texas A&M with Manziel's No. 2 emblazoned on clothing apparel. The Huffington Post's Chris Greenberg notes not only were there Aggies shirts which feature this number, some of them even had the word "Football" stitched on them - a reference to Manziel's nickname, "Johnny Football."
In the words of the Louisville Courier-Journal's Jonathan Lintner, "The actual merchandise doesn't name specific student-athletes, and neither do descriptions for the items. But the search linked them, even as the NCAA investigates Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel for reportedly profiting from his own autograph over the last year during his emergence as a Heisman Trophy winner."
Other examples of student-athlete NCAA merchandise which follow the same trend which Bilas points out include those of the South Carolina Gamecocks' Jadeveon Clowney, the Clemson Tigers' Tajh Boyd, Teddy Bridgewater of the Louisville Cardinals and A.J. McCarron of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
NCAA players are not compensated for the sale of sports merchandise. Bilas' findings seem to be in conflict with the NCAA's claims that numbered shirts and jerseys aren't matched to specific student-athletes.
Bilas then took a swipe at the NCAA by tweeting "Go to ShopNCAAsports.com and type 'NCAA Executive Committee' in upper right search box, hit enter. This comes up." He posted a photo of several clowns.
He also asked his followers to type in NCAA president Mark Emmert's name and then posted a photo of an anyonymous man clutching dozens of dollar bill wads.
With all that has been said and done, fans can only wonder how the NCAA will handle this embarrassing situation.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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