Amateurism 1, Mustache 0

This stuff just gets dumber and dumber and dumber

The Chamber of Commerce in Colfax, Washington, recently decided to stage an event that would pay special tribute to Gardner Minshew, the mustachioed Washington State quarterback.

The celebration even carried his name – “Gardner Minshew Days,” a two-day festivity scheduled for this week on Main Street, 16 miles from campus in Pullman.

But the name is a problem, according to NCAA rules. It’s also another example of how the NCAA and its members control the controversial system of “amateurism” in college sports.

 “We just wanted to celebrate him and the Cougs,” said Valoree Gregory, the chamber’s executive director.

The chamber planned to have local businesses give away fake mustaches before Friday’s big  game against Washington, joining a local craze that’s seen hundreds of Cougar fans wearing fake mustaches in honor of Minshew, the nation’s leading passer.

It all seemed innocent enough, at least until the chamber received a cease-and-desist notice from the NCAA rules compliance staff at WSU.

“In accordance with NCAA Bylaw, Washington State University requests you cease the production and display of advertisements, and the possible distribution of any products using Gardner Minshew’s name and likeness,” WSU’s letter to the chamber said on Nov. 7.

So the event changed its name to “Mustache Madness” and removed his photo. It still will go on as planned and still references Minshew on its website, just not by name.

“We are honoring our favorite WSU quarterback by giving out FREE mustaches” on Wednesday and Friday, the website said.

Colfax (population 2,900) still hopes it adds to the fun surrounding Friday’s Apple Cup in Pullman. Minshew, a graduate transfer from East Carolina, has led the eighth-ranked Cougars (9-1) to one of their best seasons ever, making his mustache so popular that Washington State has tried to capitalize on it, too.

Last week, WSU revved up its Heisman Trophy campaign for Minshew by mailing media members fake mustaches with instructions to “vote for Minshew!”

Minshew can’t control the use of his name.  Fans can’t use his name, even in a non-profit setting.  Only the school can use his name.

Finally, it dawns on me:  amateurism as Animal House.


Filed under The NCAA

5 responses to “Amateurism 1, Mustache 0

  1. Salty Dawg

    Always love an Animal House reference! You’re on fi-ah this morning, Senator!


  2. AusDawg85

    HoF analogy for the NCAA! Well played sir!


  3. W Cobb Dawg

    If you ever want to smuggle a horse into Emmert’s office, count me in Brother Bluto!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cousin Eddie

    So what would have bee the ramifications if the city said , “Up yours ncaASS?” Would it have effected Minshew in a negative manner? If so how long before auburn has a Taugalovoaga days and paints crosses under everyone’s eye in eye black to celebrate the Bama QB and get him suspended by the ncaASS? If it had no effect the city should have went ahead with the celebration, by the time the deal goes to court for an injunction the celebration would be over.

    I am by no means a lawyer, I have paid one a few times due to my less than stellar behavior, but seems this would have been a loosing cause for emmert if the city went forward.


  5. Macallanlover

    I remind you of the 2005 UGA/Boise opener. UGA fans heard about one of Boise player’s dad coming home from Iraq to see his son play at Sanford and decided to pay for his flight to this special event. Immediately the NCAA advised that would violate the rules and actually make them Boise boosters! Weird interpretation of the rules to make UGA fans to be the other team’s boosters just for attempting to help out the family as the player would not receive any benefit at all, the Dad was coming either way.