Kevin Ware shirt sales stop
O'Neil: Ware is Talk of the Town
For all the excitement of the Final Four, the talk of the town is a player who won't take the floor -- Louisville's Kevin Ware, writes Dana O'Neil. Story
The shirts read "Rise to the Occasion" with Ware's No. 5 substituted for the "S" in "Rise."
Ware suffered a gruesome broken right leg Sunday in Louisville's win over Duke and since has become something of a celebrity. He presented the Top 10 List on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday night.
Louisville had said it had waived adidas' royalties for the shirt so it would not be profiting off Ware's injury. Adidas would make contributions to the university's scholarship fund.
However, a lawyer representing former UCLA player Ed O'Bannon and other former college athletes in a lawsuit against the NCAA and Electronic Arts over their rights to use players' images without compensation said Thursday that Louisville shouldn't be able to sell the shirt.
"The fact that there is money going to the scholarship fund doesn't change things," said Rob Carey, a partner of Hagens Berman Sobol and Shapiro and co-lead counsel on the case. "If they didn't ask for Ware's permission, they can't sell the shirt, and if they did ask for his permission and he said, 'Yes,' that would be an NCAA violation and he would no longer be eligible."
The school acknowledged the shirt was indeed meant to honor Ware.
Louisville forward Chane Behanan told USA Today that Ware "hasn't complained about it."
Also Friday, Klein told ESPN the school will give away 1,000 "big heads" of Ware to students who will be in the student section at Saturday's national semifinal against Wichita State.
The $2,500 price for the heads, cleared by the school's compliance department, was donated by a foundation led by New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire that aims to make lives better for at-risk youth.
ESPN.com sports business reporter Darren Rovell contributed to this report.
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