Head over to OregonAuthentic.com and bid on all your favorite gameworn ducks jerseys. Really love LaMichael James? Purchase his jersey from the night he broke the school's rushing record, and own a reminder of all the great times he provided you and Oregon. And of course, none of your money will actually go to James.
It's not Oregon's fault that players aren't allowed to keep their college jerseys, and instead have to buy them. And Oregon's far from the only school making a profit of the literal sweat of their players, turning useless old rags into cold hard cash for the athletic department. But rarely is the NCAA's exploitation of its student-athletes served up so blatantly, and given a precise consumer-determined dollar value.
Mark Asper, who just finished his fourth year on the offensive line, is reduced to deciding how much he's willing to pay for his own jersey.
If No. 79 comes up, sure, Asper is in. He figures face value might be $75. He'll drop $100 "for sentimental reasons." If the bidding goes higher, though, he's out. Someone else will buy the shirt off his back.
The argument someone's going to make is this: these players owe whatever fame and success they have to the program. Without the college football machine, nobody would care about their jerseys in the first place. To which Oregon's associate AD responds: "It's all market-driven."
Because it's an auction site, bidders put the lie to any notion that individual players aren't the moneymakers. James's jersey is currently up to $680, while the "No. 90" jersey (Ricky Heimuli, who NCAA regulations say can't be named because he's still on the team) from the same game is going for a little more than a third of that price. To maintain that James doesn't deserve something for all the cash he's brought to Oregon is disingenuous at best, and NCAA business-as-usual at worst.
Jersey cash grab leaves players cold [Register-Guard]