Mark Emmert oversees an organization that has lied so much, to so many, so often, that finding truth in his modern-day plantation known as the NCAA is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Or to be more precise, finding something — anything — autographed by Mark Emmert on eBay. Or Google. Or Craigslist. Or … anywhere.
Johnny Manziel? Some 94-items for auction popped right up on eBay. In less than a half-second, 3,400-plus items came up on Google. Jadaeveon Clowney’s name returned similar results.
We’ll get to the search for Emmert’s autograph in a bit, but first some perspective.
Emmert made $1.7 million last year. His organization’s revenues pushed $10 billion.
And yet Manziel signing his own name for a five-figure sum is considered, “improper benefits?”
Texas A&M University commissioned a study last January attempting to put a dollar figure on exactly what Manziel’s worth was to the university. The study estimated $37 million — a sum that most certainly now has eclipsed $40 million if not considerably more.
Yet at every press conference, every official NCAA event, the NCAA mandates that players are referred to as, “student-athletes,” rather than the more accurate, “Cash Cows.”
Emmert and the NCAA have felt the pressure of being exposed, but their asinine response has been to do little more than ignore decades of exploiting individuals’ likenesses and hope no one noticed. They have dropped an association with E.A. Sports in lieu of the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit and killed the search-engine at shopncaasports.com, which ESPN analyst Jay Bilas exposed and returned items for sale on a, “Manziel” search among others.
The vast majority of football fans viewing this Manziel episode clearly believe variations of the same theme: Manziel’s only crime was taking a stand on the good side of a bad rule.
Yet it’s Manziel that’s being called a dummy? It’s Manziel that’s a cheater?
We’ve been looking at this the wrong way all along. Dumb is the rule. Dumb are the hypocritical flesh-eating serpents like Emmert who consider it cheating when a multi-million dollar personality makes relative pocket-change on his fame.
Dumb is calling it cheating. Not a single competitive advantage was had by Manziel when he reportedly sat down and signed a name — his name — for profit.
Had Manziel been embroiled in academic fraud, then that would be cheating. Had he been recruited with gifts and incentives, that’s cheating.
What he did was against the rules, but that didn’t make it wrong.
Wrong would be searching for the autograph of a flesh-eating serpent that makes $1.7 million a year stealing young men’s Piggy Banks and coming up empty. Zero. Not a single item is for sale autographed by Mark Emmert.
Now that’s cheating.