Wisconsin Pulls T-shirt Over NCAA Violation Fears
The Wisconsin Badgers are in the Final Four, and that means one thing: red-and-white merch sales are booming. Or, were booming, in the case of one popular T-shirt.
The shirt, a tribute to Badgers forward Nigel Hayes' good-natured trolling of the NCAA post-game stenographer with words like "onomatopoeia" and "antidisestablishmentarianism," was a hit at the university bookstore—until Wisconsin had it pulled. The problem? The shirt violated NCAA rules, since it used Hayes' likeness. Maybe.
Via Yahoo! Sports:
Patrick Herb, Wisconsin's assistant director of athletic communications, told Yahoo! Sports that director of compliance Katie Smith learned about the shirts after the bookstore had already begun selling them. Though the bookstore is a third-party vendor that is not affliliated with the university, Smith still believed the use of Hayes' words on the T-shirt went against NCAA amateurism rules preventing the sale of merchandise with a player's name or likeness on them.
Got that? The T-shirt featured neither Hayes' name nor Wisconsin's logo. It wasn't sold in an official school store. And the NCAA never contacted the university. But the NCAA's labyrinthian amateurism rules and propensity for dishing out violations were enough to spook Wisconsin into pulling the shirt.
Hayes, for his part, offered the perfect, winking response. "The fact that a shirt is being made and sold and has sold out is pretty egregious," he said in a news conference transcribed by Yahoo! Sports. "I'm not going to say I deserve any royalties or anything like that. That would be absurd. I'm an athletic student under the NCAA."