Maybe NCAA President Mark Emmert had a sudden change of heart. It’s more likely he and other NCAA leaders caught wind of the shitstorm Jay Bilas cooked up a few days ago.
Whatever the impetus, Emmert came forward on Thursday and called it “hypocritical” and “a mistake” for the NCAA to sell the jerseys of past and present players on the site in the wake of current lawsuits vilifying college sports for making money off athletes. As a result, they’ve halted all jersey sales on the online store. Emmert also claimed that to his understanding the NCAA didn’t profit off those sales in the first place, as the online store only served for aggregation purposes.
However, the president didn’t that fans wouldn’t be able to buy jerseys through universities or other outlets. While the NCAA may not have direct connections to those sales, we can assume licensing agreements between school, other authorized retailers and the NCAA mean that the NCAA still profit every time a fan picks up a Johnny Manziel jersey at the cash register.
With that in mind, the situation is far from over. The NCAA just decided not to be so bold about how they go about their business. In the meanwhile, the small guilt admission only gives the opposition in the Ed O’Bannon case more ammo for their fight.