|The Ocean State University (OSU) Orcas Men’s Basketball Team is participating in the NCAA Tournament “Sweet Sixteen” this weekend. OSU just recently signed a contract with Nike to outfit all of its teams. Nike sent the basketball coaches lapel pins to wear during the games as a good luck gesture. Is it permissible for the coaches to wear these pins during the NCAA Tournament games?
No. NCAA Official Interpretation- 3/28/01- Championships Logo Restrictions on Bench Personnel (I) – states that the logo restrictions set forth in Bylaw 12.5.4-(b) that apply to apparel worn by student-athletes are applicable during NCAA championship events to all personnel (e.g., coaches, trainers) who are on the team bench for practices and games or who participate in NCAA news conferences. Thus, during NCAA championships, it is not permissible for coaches and other bench personnel to wear lapel pins or other items attached to their clothing that identify any commercial entity (including apparel companies).
[References: Bylaws 188.8.131.52 (advertisements and promotions subsequent to enrollment), 12.5.4 (use of logos on equipment, uniforms and apparel) and 31.1.7 (logo restrictions –bench personnel) and official interpretation 07/26/94, Item No. 3.]