The school has created a website called OregonAuthentic.com in which it auctions off jerseys and other game-worn items for fans to buy and get an extra source of income for the athletic department. Which, business-wise, is a smart move to make considering that Oregon is wearing a new uniform every week and needs to do something with the old ones.
Unfortunately, as The Register-Guard reports on, the former players whose uniforms are being sold off aren't exactly big fans of the practice.
You might remember Mark Asper. Big guy. Played very well. Saved a choking man's life a few days before the Rose Bowl, which generated some fairly positive publicity for his school.Asper isn't alone in these feelings, either. Asper has three game-worn jerseys from his playing days at Oregon, all from bowl games, which is all Oregon is allowed to give him per NCAA rules. If he wanted any other jerseys, he'd have to buy them.
Hey Mark, what do you think of the auction?
“It's just like another scheme, another wrinkle where the university, the football program and Nike are gonna make tons of money off me and my buddies,” Asper says.
Which is what his former teammate Nate Costa did. Costa told the paper that he borrowed money from his parents so he could buy each of his jerseys to keep them from popping up on the site.
“We just don't feel it's right,” Costa told The Register Guard. “You have to buy your own jersey and if you don't, they'll sell your own jersey to make a profit.”
Now, while Asper and Costa may not have the name recognition that would help bring in the big money on any auctioned items, LaMichael James would, and James isn't exactly a huge fan of the practice either.
registerguard.com/web/sports/279… ilove the university but the amount of money they have made off me I could buy several educations lol am I a donor now?— LaMichael James (@LaMichaelJames) April 25, 2012
In his next tweet a few minutes later, James said "with that being said I don't think college players should be paid that much more" and that 18 to 20 years olds with money "hmm trouble."
Now, while none of this seems fair to the players, and I think it's ridiculous that the players aren't allowed to keep their jerseys, I see that as more the NCAA's fault than Oregon's or any other school.
After all, Oregon isn't the only school to do something like this, as The Register Guard points out Auburn and Michigan have done similar things with Cam Newton and Denard Robinson memorabilia.
And Robinson hasn't even graduated yet.
Still, while it's not fair that the players can't keep their jerseys and would have to buy them, it's not as if Oregon ever charged them for the uniforms in the first place. So if Oregon or any other school wants to recoup its losses on the uniforms and can find people willing to pay for them, I see no reason not to sell them.