NCAA president faces fact that colleges sell jerseys with real player numbers

Many football programs sell jerseys with numbers that *just happen to match* those of current star players. This is the NCAA's problem.

Remember when NCAA critic Jay Bilas revealed that the NCAA website's official store was set up to profit off of current amateur athletes?

While the jerseys in question didn't bear player names, they included the numbers worn by current stars -- who can't see any share of profits -- and were connected to player names via the website's database. That was against at least the spirit of the rules, and those results were scrubbed. NCAA president Mark Emmert said he didn't find the sale of athlete merch appropriate, for obvious reasons.

But many schools still sell jerseys with current player numbers. In case there's any doubt, three power-conference schools recently decided to only sell generic numbers.

Friday in the O'Bannon trial, plaintiff lawyers noted the organization's member schools still sell real jerseys:

Also, on Thursday, Georgia Tech tweeted an image of football schedule cards, each with a current amateur athlete posed next to a corporate sponsor's logo. It did this during Emmert's first day of testimony in the O'Bannon trial over athlete likenesses, right around the time he said he finds such a thing "uncomfortable." What timing.

So the plaintiffs added that in, too:

While Emmert's testimony has focused in part on the fact that the trial defendant, the NCAA, is run by its members and not the other way around, the governing body could still be deemed accountable for the actions of schools. Especially since this testimony strengthens the case that athlete likenesses have value, which is one of the NCAA's central denials.

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