ESPN’s Jay Bilas exposed the issue when he discover you could perform a search function at the website for Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron, Braxton Miller and others, and you would be taken to a page selling their individual jersey. It's a no-no for schools to market individual players, but the NCAA apparently wasn't following that guideline.
I’m much less shocked the NCAA was doing this than I am that it took an ESPN guy to figure it out. That doesn’t say much for the rest of the sports reporting world.
The jersey issue isn’t something that affects that many schools or even that many athletes. After all, how many fans are dying to get an Alabama or Auburn jersey of all but the handful of stars? And considering Auburn’s woeful season from a year ago, Tiger fans might prefer digging out that old Cam Newton No. 2 jersey rather than buy anything that features a current player.
Even so, it’s good the NCAA won’t hawk jerseys any longer. Individual schools can keep right on selling them, but it’s good the NCAA has removed at least this level of hypocrisy.
Emmert says the NCAA wasn’t getting a cut of the jersey sales, which means the enforcement staff won’t be lacking for money to chase down any lead from any source that Manziel – gasp! – was selling his own signature.
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at email@example.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.