Mark Emmert

NCAA gets rid of name-likeness release form for student-athletes

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Facing mounting pressure from a federal class-action lawsuit, the NCAA on Friday opted to get rid of the name-and-likeness release that student-athletes sign before competing in Division I sports.

According to a report from Dan Wolken and Steve Berkowitz of the USA Today, athletes who signed the release gave the NCAA or an associated third party, permission to use his or her name or picture to promote events such as NCAA championships without being compensated.

These sorts of things often happened in promotion of an athlete directly through the student-athlete’s school or conference.

With the class-action lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon looming, the NCAA is doing the best they can to distance itself from future legal issues that could arise if a ruling goes against them.

How will this affect college sports? That’s hard to say. If you regularly watch sports channels or channels that air NCAA programming, you’ve probably noticed that players are promoted in the ads by using their face or name.

Without the use of this student-athlete release, it will be interesting to see how those types of promotions could change.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: