Monday, March 11, 2013

NCAA Refuses to Let Athletes Like Joel Bauman Use Their Own Names in Promotions – If So They Become Ineligible

Why Hasn’t This Been Ruled Unconstitutional?

A college wrestler is no longer eligible to compete in college wrestling.  His crime, he recorded a rap song and sells it for 99 cents.  His real crime, according to the NCAA which governs college athletics, he was making money off of his name recognition from being a college athlete.

Joel Bauman's most recent song video can be downloaded for 99 cents on iTunes, a problem for the N.C.A.A.

Because Bauman performed under his own name and identified himself as a Minnesota wrestler, the N.C.A.A. ruled him ineligible for the remainder of the season. J. T. Bruett, Minnesota’s compliance director, said Bauman violated an N.C.A.A. bylaw prohibiting student-athletes from using their name, image or status as an athlete to promote the sale of a commercial product.

Now we all understand the good intentions of the NCAA here.  They want to prevent the buying of college athletes by fans and boosters who would pay the athletes for endorsements, indirectly paying them for their athletic prowess.

But good intentions do not allow an organization to remove the basic Constitutional rights of an individual.  To forbid an athlete from using their name in promotions entirely is surely a violation of the Constitution, the only question being why hasn’t someone pursued this in the courts, and if they have, why haven’t they won?

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