With the news report of Johnny Manziel, aka Johnny Football, having accepted a five-figure deal from a memorabilia broker to sign a number of Texas A&M logoed items, many are upset. They are upset that he has somehow acted so selfishly and put his team in a compromising situation. They’re also upset that somehow a scholarship is not enough for this “young punk”.
Luckily for all of us, Jay Bilas, the great ESPN NCAA Basketball analyst and man who exposes all NCAA hypocrisy, spent his Tuesday showing those who have been critical of Manziel and his alleged actions that what the NCAA is engaged in hypocrisy. The latest hypocrisy is as a result of the NCAA using marquee star players like Johnny Football to sell and profit from their stardom.
What Jay Bilas did on his Twitter account is enter the names of either NCAA Football or Basketball players into the search box at ShopNCAAsports.com and what would conveniently come up is the jersey number of said player which was available for purchase at a price north of $50. To add to the hilarity, once the NCAA caught wind of what was going on, it conveniently disabled the search box on the site.
Once again, what Jay Bilas has rightfully done is expose how the NCAA, and those who defend it, are hypocrites. Now you may ask, why are they hypocrites? It’s simple; the NCAA and its defenders are hypocrites because it’s okay for them to profit off the talents of stars like Johnny Manziel but heaven forbid said player tries to receive some benefit from their stardom and they are crucified as selfish or ungrateful.
By doing what he did on Twitter, Jay Bilas has once again proved that the current system that the NCAA and its defenders claim to be as just fine is in fact one-sided and flawed. When combined with the class-action lawsuit that former UCLA Basketball player Ed O’Bannon is pursuing against the NCAA, it only becomes clearer that there needs to be a new system that compensates college athletes beyond just whatever they get courtesy of their respective scholarships.
Whenever the subject of compensating college athletes in addition to what they get from their scholarships is brought up, the NCAA and its defenders fall back on the “student-athletes” card. While they might be “student-athletes”, in major revenue sports, there are a few athletes who because of their performance and status are able to help a school bring in more money as a result of their stardom.
Therefore, instead of jumping on Johnny Manziel for potentially having taken money for just signing a bunch of memorabilia, more people need start to question the NCAA and its system. Ask why haven’t they or their institution members done anything to address the imbalance that exists in the current system? So, because he’s a “student athlete”, this makes it okay for everyone around him to profit, yet he can’t enjoy a few of the benefits himself? That to me is unfair and not right.
It is clear that this issue will not be resolved anytime soon, but once again Jay Bilas has rightfully pointed out the hypocrisy that the NCAA and its defenders continue to sell by claiming that a scholarship is more than enough and fair for student athletes. For stars like Johnny Football who decide to take advantage and game the system themselves, they unfairly become labeled as enemies to what collegiate athletics is suppose to stand for.
Lucas Carreras is a contributing San Francisco 49ers and Soccer writer for RantSports.com. You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him @maldini3fan and you can add him to your circles on Google+.