Wisconsin sophomore forward Nigel Hayes has been one of the off-the-court stars of the 2015 NCAA Tournament — in addition to his on-court play.
Hayes has consistently challenged NCAA stenographers during NCAA-sanctioned press conferences during the last few weeks by using uncommon words that would be a challenge to type on the fly.
The University of Wisconsin had a campus bookstore selling a t-shirt inspired by Hayes challenging the stenographers, according to a story from Jeff Eisenberg at Yahoo.
The shirt said: “Cattywampus, Onomatopoeia, Antidisestablishmentarianism, Soliloquy, Quandary, Zephyr, Xylophone.” and was removed from the campus bookstore amid fears of a NCAA violation.
NCAA amateurism rules prevent schools from selling merchandise with a player’s name or likeness. Although it would have only been a minor violation — if at all — this shirt was clearly made because of Hayes.
It also doesn’t help that Hayes couldn’t even get one of his own shirts, as he was asked about the shirts on Tuesday.
“The fact that a shirt is being made and sold and has sold out is pretty egregious,” Hayes said to reporters. “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.
“I haven’t even gotten a shirt yet though. It’s ironic seeing as how there wouldn’t be a shirt without me saying those things, but that’s neither here nor there. I’m just glad to be part of all the hoopla. It has been a good time.”
Just another sticky situation in the NCAA dealing with the amateurism of student-athletes to deal with right before the Final Four. Wisconsin probably made the right decision here. Regardless of a potential NCAA violation, to blatantly profit off of the words of one of their players is not a good look.