Jay Bilas exposed a funny thing about the search feature on NCAA Shop this afternoon.
Go to http://t.co/qpH4tNnIpH, type in "Manziel" in upper right search box, hit enter. This comes up. pic.twitter.com/N7KNvXIu24— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 6, 2013
Go to http://t.co/qpH4tNnIpH, type in "Clowney" in upper right search box, and hit enter. This comes up. pic.twitter.com/pHUKGqoNuu— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 6, 2013
Go to http://t.co/qpH4tNnIpH and type "Tajh Boyd" in upper right search box, then hit enter. This comes up. pic.twitter.com/0DF68wM0tW— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 6, 2013
This could end up being a big deal amid the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit versus the NCAA concerning the use of player names and likenesses for commercial use.
The NCAA tried to end the fun with the search feature:
The search function on http://t.co/71fcOTfuAR has been disabled.— Chip Patterson (@Chip_Patterson) August 6, 2013
... but of course there was a workaround.
http://t.co/qpH4tNnIpH can still be searched by typing "/search/braxtonmiller" in the URL. This comes up. Have fun. pic.twitter.com/8Zp4Iza6jt— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 6, 2013
I started poking around with this method and noticed that when I visited /search/boyd (screenshot), it was not just Tajh Boyd from Clemson in the results. The list of colleges seemed to include every school that has a player with the last name Boyd on the roster. This likely indicates that the NCAA Store website was pulling from a player database and that last name searches were activated when a player with that last name became popular. Here is a table of colleges listed for "Boyd" and the corresponding players.
|Alabama State||Carnell Boyd|
|Arkansas State||William Boyd|
|Clemson Tigers||Tajh Boyd|
|Delaware State||Joe Boyd|
|East Carolina State||J.T. Boyd|
|Florida State||N/A (Jayce Boyd baseball)|
|Holy Cross||Matthew Boyd|
|Kansas State||Javonta Boyd|
|Louisiana Tech||Chad Boyd|
|Mississippi State||Josh Boyd|
|Morehead State||Luke Boyd|
|North Carolina||Jheranie Boyd|
|North Dakota||Benny Boyd|
|Southern University||Clinton Boyd|
|Stephen F. Austin||Tyler Boyd|
|Western Kentucky||Xavius Boyd|