Josh Pastner’s picture used without his consent in political endorsement

Had Josh Pastner's image appeared in any other popular rap video without his consent, the savvy Memphis basketball coach likely would have championed it as an unexpected recruiting boost.

In this case, however, he had to ask to have his picture removed.

A photo of a pink boa-clad Pastner and Republic congressional candidate George Flinn appeared without the coach's permission in a music video Memphis hip hop artist Al Kapone released last Friday. The song, entitled "George Flinn," serves as a four-minute endorsement for the candidate complete with a catchy chorus that implores listeners to vote for Flinn for congressman.

Since University of Memphis policy forbids employees from endorsing any political candidates, Pastner's representatives had to call Kapone and have him take the image out of the video. Pastner also couldn't have been happy to appear in the video since Flinn's opponent, Democratic incumbent Steve Cohen, is a University of Memphis booster and a passionate Tigers hoops fan.

Pastner told WREG-TV in Memphis that he had no idea his picture was going to appear in the video for Kapone's song.

"My job is extremely political, so I've got enough on my hands [without] dealing with and getting involved in anything else," he joked.

Pastner's ties to the Memphis hip-hop community have worked in his favor in the past, most recently when he booked Rick Ross to perform at the school's Memphis Madness event last October. He called it a great "recruiting tool" at the time, telling "it gives you a little street cred."

Had Pastner's brief cameo in Kapone's video not been deleted, the effect probably would have been slightly different. It's hard to have "street cred" with a pink feather boa draped around your neck.

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