The NCAA can sure act quickly when it needs to put out a firestorm.
During a Thursday conference call with reporters, NCAA President Mark Emmert said the organization would no longer sell player memorabilia and apparel on its website, ShopNCAASports.com.
“I don’t believe we should be in that business,” Emmert said.
The NCAA was put on the defensive when Jay Bilas of ESPN, in a series of Twitter blasts this week, reported that the NCAA was selling jerseys of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel at the same time it was investigating him for possible violations.
It was also revealed the NCAA was selling memorabilia for former USC star Reggie Bush, who put the school on major probation. Part of the sanctions against USC ordered the school to disassociate from Bush.
The NCAA has maintained in the past that jerseys don’t represent a certain player, so Texas A&M’s jersey No. 2 could be for a defensive player wearing that number and not necessarily Manziel.
That logic has always seemed suspect, and Emmert, under enormous pressure, acted swiftly to fend off the latest controversy.
“I can certainly see how people would think it’s hypocritical,” he said. -Chris Dufresne