Everyone’s favorite quarterback, Texas A&M signal caller Johnny Manziel, is potentially about to become even more popular, but for off the field reasons. Well, off the field reasons not regarding late night casino runs or his smoking hot girlfriend. The self-proclaimed TFTC quarterback is currently filing a lawsuit against a company that had been selling “Johnny Football” t-shirts, a phrase copyrighted by Manziel’s corporation, JMan2 Enterprises (I’m not crazy about that name, either).
The NCAA has ruled that Manziel can profit off of the suit, stating in a recent notification to Texas A&M that “a student-athlete can keep financial earnings as a result of legal action.” This rule is a result of the ongoing legal battle between the NCAA, EA Sports and current and former college athletes for profiting off of student-athletes likeness in college video games, despite the athletes’ names not being used. The NCAA is covering their own ass here, or trying to at least, in case they lose the multi-million dollar suit.
So essentially, Manziel, or any college athlete for that matter, could realistically sue anyone who uses their name to promote or profit off of something, opening the door for boosters, wealthy alums and others to intentionally infringe on copyrighted material and shell out millions of dollars to said player without facing any repercussions from the NCAA, seeing as they created this massive loophole in the system.
So that’s that. This could potentially be a game-changer in college sports. It’d take some creativity from boosters, but there really isn’t much the NCAA could do about it, if anything. There are no limits to what can be done with this loophole.
For me, this speaks to the worthlessness of the NCAA in the modern college game. With the University of Miami investigation debacle, Penn State child abuse scandal and now potentially this, a once noble and necessary institution may be on its last legs. The NCAA is one of, if not the most corrupt system in sports. College sports has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry and the leaders of the NCAA have not adapted to the changes, but they have profited off of them. With conference re-alignment, the money in college sports is just too big. The game needs to change.
I’m not saying athletes need to be paid for their services, but a detailed look at how the system works needs to happen. College athletics is a time-honored, sacred tradition in America. The NCAA has failed to protect it.
[via Outkick The Coverage]
Image via Deadspin