There's a fine line between commercialism and exploitation, especially when college athletes are involved. And Alabama's latest offering can certainly be considered questionable at best.
The school has been selling a football featuring the facsimile autographs of all the members of the championship team for $125.
Jennifer Martin, the school's director of licensing and marketing, says they've sold about 600 of the balls and are almost sold out. The school had similar success with a facsimile autograph of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban on an SEC Championship ball. They sold out all 500 of them.
So how can a ball have copies of signatures with underclassmen on it? According to Martin, because the money is going back to the school and all funds are going to support the institution's educational and athletic activities, it is compliant with NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52.
If I were the school's Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram, I'm not sure I would have signed this.
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