Well, somebody’s making some money off Rodrigo Blankenship’s likeness. Just not Rodrigo Blankenship.
The T-shirts that sold online for $24.76 each never mention Rodrigo Blankenship’s name.
They didn’t need to because the red helmet, mustache and signature goggles with the catchphrase “Respect the Specs” are synonymous with the Georgia kicker who burst onto the national stage during the run to the College Football Playoff championship game in 2017.
Under NCAA rules, Blankenship can’t profit from his name, image and likeness while still playing for Georgia, although the governing body announced last month a working group is examining the issue.
The shirt was sold by Nashville-based printing and apparel company The Seven-Six, whose co-owner just happened to grow up a Bulldog fan.
Very respectful, indeed. But I’ll say outright thievery beats what Rod’s AD is offering.
“It sounds pretty easy to do, but the implementation of it, how does it affect the power five, how does it affect the group of five?” McGarity said. “Does it widen the separation? There’s so many unknowns. …It’s a complicated situation and I’d rather not get into what I personally feel. That’s why they’ve got the committee in place so that they can really bear down and have some fruitful discussions and figure out a pathway moving forward.”
Greg’s got that “complicated” company line down pat. It’s only that way if you’re on the wrong side of the revenue line, though.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said his stance remains about what it was when he testified in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, which started in 2009 and involved name, image and likeness rights.
“I think and believe that the funding, the financial support provided to a student-athlete is appropriately tied to their educational pursuits,” Sankey said.
If you’re a student-athlete who thinks this NCAA working group is going to recommend any substantive changes to the amateurism rules, you probably still believe in the Tooth Fairy.