The single foulest example of the NCAA's financial opportunism and policy inconsistency has been struck off the books. In a move surely prompted by the obvious legal strategies of Johnny Manziel's attorneys, the NCAA has announced their online shop is shutting down sales of all merchandise naming a college or university.The NCAA says they're shutting down online sales of university merchandise on ShopNCAASports.com, but a quick visit to the site shows quite conspicuously that this has not happened yet. That site still has so much university apparel that it looks like a Capital One mascot commercial The NCAA says they will halt sales of specific school merchandise "in the coming days".
Well played with the whole "Going out of business sale" thing, NCAA.
The NCAA announced it would halt sales of university apparel in their online store. "Moving forward, the NCAA online shop will no longer offer college and university merchandise," the statement says. "In the coming days, the store’s website will be shut down temporarily and reopen in a few weeks as a marketplace for NCAA championship merchandise only. After becoming aware of issues with the site, we determined the core function of the NCAA.com fan shop should not be to offer merchandise licensed by our member schools."
"The issues with the site", of course, are not issues with the site. They are issues with an NCAA policy that does not allow players to profit from merchandise sales that market their personal appeal. The NCAA, meanwhile, sells jerseys and apparel. ESPN analyst Jay Bilas went on a tweeting rampage pointing out how searches pulled up individual players' apparel. Among the questionable items Bilas found were Johnny Football jerseys. jerseys for guys who are no longer NCAA athletes and a suspended player's jersey.The day of Bilas' Twitter-rant binge, the NCAA responded by shutting down the store's search function. As Bilas hilariously observed, all you had to do was recreate an incredibly simple URL code formula to pull up the same results without the search bar.
At wit's end, the NCAA is shutting down the university apparel operation on their site. You can still buy the exact same apparel all over the place -- just not at ShopNCAASports.com. The NCAA claims they never made any money off selling university apparel online anyway.
And if you believe that, you'll believe that Johnny Manziel autographed this football for me absolutely free of charge.