Husker’s Dad Got NU Biz Deal Before Son Signed

Yesterday the NCAA released this official statement in response to criticism of its decision to allow Cam Newton to play in the BCS Championship Game:

Put simply, had Cam Newton’s father or a third party actually received money or benefits for his recruitment, Cam Newton would have been declared ineligible regardless of his lack of knowledge.

Newton’s father had previously admitted to the NCAA to soliciting funds from Mississippi State in exchange for his son signing with the school to play football. Though NCAA reported it didn’t find evidence that Cecil Newton ever received funds following such solicitation.

Taylor Martinez's Dad's Corn Fed Apparel Company

(Taylor Martinez (r) with father Casey Martinez and Toby Gerhart two months ago)

Today Baxter Holmes of the LOS ANGELES TIMES reported that the father of star Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, Casey Martinez, received a licensing deal from Nebraska for his fledgling apparel brand 13 months before his son signed to play football at the school.

Casey Martinez had a deal with Nebraska nearly a year before his football-playing son, Taylor, did.

The father of Nebraska’s starting quarterback owns the sports apparel company Corn Fed, and he entered into a licensing agreement with the university’s athletic program about a year before his son committed to play football for the Cornhuskers.

In June 2007, records show, Nebraska became the first of four universities to sign contracts with Corn Fed. The others were Iowa State (April 2008), Iowa (June 2008) and Northern Iowa (February 2009), though the deal with Northern Iowa has since been canceled.

So what did the NCAA have to say about Taylor Martinez’s father, who before his son signed with the Huskers to play football essentially launched a brand of clothing with the Nebraska University deal?

The NCAA said the business partnership does not violate college rules, but spokesman Erik Christianson acknowledged such deals “could raise concerns” about recruiting inducements.

Casey Martinez’s “Corn Fed” apparel company hasn’t exactly taken off since Nebraska agreed to allow him to use its logo on his products, but that’s beside the point.

What’s the odds Nebraska would agree to a licensing deal with an obscure apparel company like the one Martinez was running if his son wasn’t being recruited to play football at the school? Whether Taylor Martinez was a highly-recruited football player is immaterial to this situation.

This is, again, a clear-cut case of the NCAA simply ignoring a rule that it already has on the books. Family members of a football recruit are not allowed to benefit financially because of that recruit’s football status.

In this particular instance, my guess is that the NCAA didn’t know about Casey Martinez’s deal with the school, but now that it has been informed of the arrangement, why isn’t the NCAA now investigating what appears to be a clear circumvention of the rules?

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