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Compliance Corner August 2012

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NCAA Bylaw 12.5.4—Use of Logos on Equipment, Uniforms and Apparel

NCAA institutions should note that a student-athlete may use athletics equipment or wear athletics apparel that bears the trademark or logo of an athletics equipment or apparel manufacturer or distributor in athletics competition and pre- and post-game activities (e.g., celebrations on the court, pre- or post-game press conferences), provided the following criteria are met:

(a) Athletics equipment (e.g., shoes, helmets, baseball bats and gloves, batting or golf gloves, hockey and lacrosse sticks, goggles and skis) shall bear only the manufacturer’s normal label or trademark as it is used on all such items for sale to the general public.
(b) The student-athlete’s institution’s official uniform (including numbered racing bibs and warm-ups) and all other items of apparel (e.g., socks, head bands, T-shirts, wrist bands, visors or hats, swim caps and towels) shall bear only a single manufacturer’s or distributor’s normal label or trademark (regardless of the visibility of the label or trademark), not to exceed 2 1/4 square inches in area (rectangle, square, parallelogram) including any additional material (e.g., patch) surrounding the normal trademark or logo. The student-athlete’s institution’s official uniform and all other items of apparel shall not bear a design element similar to the manufacturer’s trademark/logo that is in addition to another trademark/logo that is contrary to the size restriction.

Wearing Apparel Items that Display Logos During Competition:  A student-athlete representing an institution in intercollegiate competition is limited to wearing apparel items that include only the logo (not to exceed 2 1/4 square inches) of an apparel manufacturer or distributor. The student-athlete may not wear any apparel (e.g., hat, visor, shirt, pennies) that identifies any entity other than the student-athlete’s institution and the apparel manufacturer or distributor.

Apparel Manufacturer’s or Distributor’s Logo on Towels:  The restriction that a single manufacturer or distributor’s normal label or trademark on items of apparel may not exceed 2 ¼ square inches is applicable only to swim towels and towels worn by student-athletes while participating in competition (such as hand towels). Towels (other than swimming towels) that are not worn by student-athletes while participating in competition (e.g., bench towels) are not subject to the restriction on logos.

Laundry Label:  If an institution’s uniform or any item of apparel worn by a student-athlete in competition contains washing instructions on the outside of the apparel on a patch that also includes the manufacturer’s or distributor’s logo or trademark, the entire patch must be contained within a four-sided geometrical figure (e.g., rectangle, square, parallelogram) that does not exceed 2 ¼ square inches.

Championship Activities:  The restrictions on commercial logos are enforced for all official championship activities, [e.g. practices and press conferences] and apply to all bench personnel, including coaches and support personnel.

Please note that it is necessary to consult the playing rules for each sport to determine whether a sport has adopted a more restrictive standard regarding the use of logos on uniforms.

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