Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder caused a furor over the weekend when he discussed “hypothetically” selling his jersey to businessmen while he was a student-athlete for the Gators.
Crowder said he didn’t see anything wrong with it. It was his number and it was him making plays in the jersey that gave it value.
But after a couple days to think, and probably some angry calls from teammates and former coaches, Crowder sought to clarify his not-so-bright "hypothetical" on Tuesday. "I was playing off the whole Terrelle Pryor thing where businessmen were buying his stuff," he said in an interview with ESPN.
Maybe Crowder was really speaking hypothetically. Maybe he is kind of new to the whole radio medium and how once it’s out there, it’s out there. Whatever the case, he likely drew some unwanted attention to his new two-hour weekly talk show in Miami with his supposedly made-up scenario.
"I'll say hypothetically I don't have any more of my Florida jerseys," Crowder said Sunday. "There were some Jacksonville businessmen that really hypothetically liked my play."
Crowder now claims his four jerseys from 2003 and 2004 are still in the possession of him and his mother and not any Jacksonville business men. But Crowder, who was drafted by the Dolphins in 2005, still feels like it should have been his prerogative to sell them if he wanted. "When I was at Florida I made No. 5 a relevant jersey number at Florida, so why couldn't I sell my jersey while I was there with my name on the back?" he said to ESPN.
In a perfect world, Crowder would be free to sell his jerseys to the highest bidder. But we all know the NCAA is far from a perfect world. Student-athletes are marketed and their images sold for gain to only their respective universities. Players and their parents are made aware of such when they sign on the dotted line.
It’s a bad deal for the annually renewable use of a college scholarship, but at the same time there is no grey area. Selling your image or using your status as college athlete for monetary gain is not permissible per NCAA rules.
Certainly players may not like the rules and may even find them grossly unfair, but you are stuck with them once you sign away. So Crowder’s belief and his “hypothetical” don’t fly.
(Photo: Marc Serota/Getty Images)