SBD/April 26, 2012/Colleges

New Oregon Website Sells Team Merchandise, Profits To Benefit Athletic Department

The Univ. of Oregon created the new website OregonAuthentic.com with intentions to “reduce inventory” and to “make a little extra money for the athletic department,” according to George Schroeder of the Eugene REGISTER-GUARD. The site will eventually feature “game-worn stuff from all Oregon sports” but currently features football items including “cleats, pants, helmets and jerseys.” The bidding for each item starts at $1, which means there likely will be a "fascinating study to quantify what everyone already thinks: the biggest stars produce more revenue than, say, an offensive lineman.” Former Oregon OT Mark Asper said, “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.” He added it "kind of ticks me off” that the school would sell players’ jerseys. Schroeder noted Asper has “three jerseys he wore in bowl games,” but under NCAA rules, “players can’t be given much more.” Players can buy additional jerseys. Former Oregon QB Nate Costa said, “We just don’t feel it’s right. You have to buy your own jersey and if you don’t, they’ll sell your own jersey to make a profit.” Schroeder noted other schools “have done similar things.” Auburn “sold the pants" QB Cam Newton wore during the '11 BCS Championship for $1,500, and Michigan “auctioned off pants" worn by QB Denard Robinson during the school's game against Notre Dame last season for $1,310 (Eugene REGISTER-GUARD, 4/25). CBSSPORTS.com’s Tom Fornelli wrote the website “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.” Fornelli: “It’s not as if Oregon ever charged them for the uniforms in the first place." 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” (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/25).
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