ACC: CBS Sports

Wrinkle develops over fantasy college football

July, 31, 2008
7/31/08
11:05
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich


There's a little wrinkle in the relationship between the NCAA and CBS Sports.

The NCAA is once again emphatically trying to keep its athletes students.

CBS Sports is trying to provide college football fans with the same entertainment NFL fans have become addicted to. Only in its new and improved version of Fantasy College Football, CBS wants to use players' names (like James Davis and C.J. Spiller) instead of units like (Clemson running backs).

There are no prizes, money or gambling involved in this -- just names.

And that's enough to concern the NCAA:

Earlier this month, the NCAA issued an official interpretation stating that any student-athletes whose names are used in conjunction with a fantasy sports game would be required to take action to stop the third party in order to remain eligible. However, the NCAA has sent notice to CBS Sports that its league could jeopardize student-athlete eligibility.

The NCAA's action does not prevent institutions and individual student-athletes from contacting CBS Sports or any third party if they believe their amateurism has been jeopardized.

The notion that CBS Sports could be responsible for affecting athletes' eligibility is simply absurd.

"And we've got Willie Korn lining up under center against the Crimson Tide today because Cullen Harper was drafted in the first fantasy round of the season by Joe Smith in Greenville, S.C., and boy did he pick a good one!"

You've got to be kidding if you think these football players have enough time to call the Powers that Be at CBS Sports to tell them to stop using their names, let alone to pay enough attention to this when they're out there trying to win real football games. The more likely scenario is to have an intern in the athletic department become a fantasy college football freak for each school and keep an eye on whose names from their respective programs are out there.

If that's the case, Clemson is already in trouble.

CBS believes it's got legal ground to stand on, but it's also got the business of college football.

In any case, the topic will be up for discussion at the Association's Aug. 6 meeting.
Until then, Miami fans might want to start drafting Christian Ponder, Preston Parker and Everette Brown ...

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