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And Another Thing


#NCAA: Making more of a hash of things

And now more silliness from the NCAA, which is increasingly tying itself in ethical knots as it tries to justify behaving exactly like any other major corporation while trying to maintain the fiction that it's just the ruling body for "amateur" college athletics.

Taking a mighty stand, the organization has banned Twitter hashtag messages on college football fields and end zones, because they could be co-opted by corporate entities and used as advertising.

"Except as noted herein, there may be no advertising on the field, which includes the end zones and sideline areas," the NCAA statement read.

Key phrase: Except as noted therein.

In other words, it's perfectly to use the players as unpaid billboards for Nike or adidas, just as it's perfectly OK for Tostitos or Chick-fil-A or Champs Sports or Outback Steakhouse to paint their logos on the field of the respective bowl games they sponsor, because the NCAA is getting paid large coin for such corporate shilling. But heaven forbid some other corporate entity tries to get in on the act.

That's because, as always, this isn't about preserving the fiction that college athletics is an amateur enterprise. It's about the "amateurs" getting their cut.

Can someone pull the plug on these people now?

Ben Smith's blog.