Whose Jersey is It?


by - Radio Host -
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Whose Jersey is It?
A topic on my radio show this week has been the fact that Clemson and Nike have taken a preemptive strike against potential future issues concerning jerseys for public sales.

Clemson has joined a growing number of schools that have decided to try to avoid any future problems and have told Nike not to manufacture jerseys with recognizable players' numbers.

In this specific case, Clemson and Nike will not sell number four jerseys this year or for the foreseeable future. This year fans will be able to buy authentic Clemson jerseys with the number one and 16. One obviously represents the goal instead of a player. The number 16 represents the year 2016, not Jordan Leggett.

Clemson joins schools like Texas A&M, Michigan, Mississippi State, Arizona and South Carolina in limiting numbers to generic ideas.

I understand the idea, but I think these schools are being overly cautious. Ed O'Bannon's case has sent the industry into "CYA" mode.

At this point, no player has sued over the jersey sales. To my knowledge, no one has made a huge issue of their jersey being sold.

I bet if you asked the stars of the sport, some might resent schools making money on their likeness. However, I bet more would choose to keep selling their number. I would think the best option would include building their brand, and it wouldn't suck to see so many kids in your numbered jersey. And has anyone asked Watson what he thinks?

There are a lot of people who lose in this. Local retailers have depended on the sales on jerseys of the stars in recent years. That revenue is indeed affected.

There will be parents that have to tell their kids that they can't have a Deshaun Watson jersey. Try explaining this complicated issue to a four-year-old little Tiger.

A Twitter follower brought up an excellent point. He asked, "Whose jersey is it? Is it the player's or the school's?"

Where has our common sense gone? This past year Clemson took current players' picture off of the tickets and replaced them with generic shots. What is the issue? Don't we still sell programs with current players on the cover? Don't we sell media guides with he same players on the cover?

I understand the uncertainty of what may happen in the future, but where did we lose our way?

Is there not a waiver that could be signed? Is there not a simple answer to where a kid can get a jersey of his favorite player? I think we have overthought this one.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency



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