Yesterday, on the day its basketball team flew to South Korea for Friday's season opener against Georgetown, the University of Oregon announced that two of its players did not make the trip. Point guard Dominic Artis and forward Ben Carter, both sophomores, have been suspended indefinitely. Their offense? A violation of NCAA rules. That violation? Selling team-issued shoes. Because heaven forfend any athlete try to make any money in any way from his or her talent.
Never mind that Oregon has an apparel deal with Nike worth $22.7 million over eight years, or that the university fought to keep from having to disclose that figure to the public, or that the school has a website devoted specifically to the sale of surplus athletic gear. Artis and Carter must be held to account, because those are the rules.
ESPN says Artis and Carter had been under investigation since early October, and that Oregon self-reported the violation, which falls under NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199:
The student-athlete shall not receive any extra benefits. The term "extra benefit" refers to any special arrangement by an institutional employee or representative of the institution's athletics interests to provide the student-athlete or his or her family or friends with a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.
Translation: That money-making shit's reserved for NCAA and university administrators, because amateurism.