The former quarterback and current ESPN analyst tweeted their displeasure at the NCAA commodifying the likenesses of North Carolina’s championship-winning student athletes after the Tar Heels took down Gonzaga to win the title game on Monday night.
The tweet in question is a screenshot Bilas took of his email inbox. The email, presumably from the NCAA or perhaps North Carolina, shows an ad for UNC championship merchandise featuring three North Carolina players — Joel Berry II, Luke Maye and Kennedy Meeks. Berry II’s name is even shown on his jersey.
Bilas, a noted Jeezy fan, is always down to point out the NCAA’s hypocrisy when it comes to refusing to pay student-athletes wages for services rendered while directly profiting off their likenesses.
Manziel, meanwhile, was famously investigated by the NCAA for profiting off of autographs while he was still at Texas A&M. Given his history with hand signals and the aforementioned tweet and I’d say he’s clearly on the side of paying student athletes.
The national title game was another stage for prominent discussions about athlete pay. Former NCAA basketball player Frank Kaminsky spent much of the pregame arguing with Dan Dakich about the the same topic. Dakich, a colleague of Bilas’s at ESPN, is not on the same side as Manziel and Kaminsky.
I don’t think Mark Emmert, however, will agree with these three anytime soon.