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Jay Bilas Calls Out NCAA for Player Likeness Violation

Jay BilasIt seems the NCAA has been in the business of playing the hypocrite card as of late, at least judging by the series of Tweets released by ESPN’s Jay Bilas.

The NCAA is up in arms about reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, allegedly profiting from signing autographs.

At the same time, Jay Bilas has pointed to a wrongdoing of the NCAA themselves; profiting from player likeness.


Jay Bilas has a case against the NCAA’s Business

This past Tuesday, Jay Bilas used Twitter as a way to publicly call out the NCAA for profiting from the likeness of popular players.  In his series of Tweets, he points out that visiting and utilizing the site’s search function will reveal related player products.  While the names are not tied to student athlete jerseys, simply searching “Manziel” will reveal a strong correlation between his name and numbered Texas A&M jersey.  According to NCAA rules, current jerseys in the store cannot be endowed with the name of student athletes.  So why is it that searching a collegiate athlete’s name will result in a list of the player’s jerseys and shirts?

Jay Bilas continued to go off and Tweet examples of the NCAA’s online search function.  He finally ended his rant by stating the following:

Shortly after, Chip Patterson – CBS Sports college football writer – sent out a Tweet notifying people that the NCAA search function had been disabled.  The fun was over and the damage was done.

NCAA finds itself in a similar situation

The NCAA, EA Sports, and Collegiate Licensing Company are currently in a battle with Former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon.  The case is over using player likenesses in video games and TV broadcasts.  The NCAA released a statement about the suit:

“The fact remains — the NCAA is not exploiting current or former student-athletes but instead provides enormous benefit to them and the public. Plaintiffs are wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. The NCAA remains hopeful the court will agree and deny this motion.”

The NCAA seems to have stumbled.  After Jay Bilas calling them out publicly on Twitter, are many people going to believe such a statement?  Where do you stand on this subject?  Is the NCAA being hypocritical?

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