Tuesday, August 6, 2013

NCAA Turns Tail, I Laugh At the Ridiculousness

Bilas: For the People
Earlier today, I had a brief post on Jay Bilas' efforts of exposing a major amount of hypocrisy on the NCAA's part with their online store. The point of that post was that the NCAA made the rules and made them in their favor.

But... the point of this post is that the NCAA is hilarious.

After a solid stomping from Bilas (and to be honest - I was kind of getting tired of it), curiously, the search bar at ShopNCAASports.com was removed from the website.

That's right - they panicked and turned the thing off. Oh my god, that's funny. Another Twitter victory.

The NCAA's official stance has been that none of the apparel sold on their website and no officially licensed apparel is tied to any individual's likeness. They just happen to be selling Alabama #10s and South Carolina #7s right now.

For those not as familiar with how search engines and online stores work, when an item is listed in the online store's inventory, there is something called 'metadata' that is written into the coding of the items to help customers find the objects they are looking for. With more sophisticated (and well staffed) websites, the metadata can become very extensive, with dozens (hundreds, in some cases) of descriptive terms to assist with the search for that item.

What does all that mean? Well, it means that Jay Bilas exposed the NCAA's direct hypocrisy in profiting off the names of student-athletes. Because a search of "Manziel" or "Johnny Manziel" led directly to a #2 Texas A&M jersey, that indicates that someone (employed in some manner by the NCAA) put the terms "Manziel" and "Johnny Manziel" into the metadata of that store item.

Just like Bilas showed today with items resulting for searches of Tajh Boyd, Jadeveon Clowney, on and on. All of their names were in the code.

I'd appreciate a major media person to request comment from the NCAA on the removal of the search bar to see what they'd say. And to ask specifically is these players' names were in the metadata of store items. They could deny it, but they'd be lying - because it would be IMPOSSIBLE for those searches to return those items without their placement in the metadata. Trust me - impossible. The search would return no results if they weren't in the metadata.

The Manziel item was the worst, as it had "Football" as the nameplate on the back of the jersey, as in "Johnny Football". I looked - I couldn't find ANY OTHER jersey with "Football" as the nameplate.

Right idea. Jerseys on adults is not a good thing.
So, this is roundly entertaining to me. And it has been to others.

I'm with Michael Hall's tweet - the rule is that if you have a drivers license, you can't wear a jersey.

From my little soapbox here - PLEASE, will a major media member ask the NCAA about this? Force the NCAA to play a hand.

It's a blackjack game, and we've already figured out the NCAA's hand.


Check me out on Twitter, pretty-please. @harry_long