By Zac Ellis
On Tuesday, ESPN commentator Jay Bilas discovered that the NCAA?s online store, ShopNCAASports.com, was linking the names of student-athletes with jerseys and other school merchandise. Just two days later, NCAA president Mark Emmert confirmed via a teleconference that the NCAA won?t get involved with that kind of marketing anymore.
Emmert told reporters that the NCAA selling merchandise linked to players was a ?mistake? and added that the organization will ?exit that kind of business immediately.? The NCAA?s move comes during the middle of the?Ed O?Bannon v. the NCAA lawsuit regarding the rights to use student-athletes? likenesses on TV broadcasts and in video games.
Keep in mind, the NCAA?s decision to stop marketing team merchandise on its website does not mean that individual schools have to stop selling merchandise. Rather, it means the NCAA?s website will now be used for strictly NCAA-specific goods.
To put all of this in perspective, here?s a sampling of the social media reaction to Emmert?s announcement: