Adidas unveiled a number of new uniform designs for several schools last week just in time for March Madness. The jerseys for UCLA, Cincinnati, Louisville, Wisconsin and others were given redesigns, and one of the more notable new designs was a sleeved look for Baylor with “Sic’Em Bears” on the front.
— Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB) March 6, 2014
Unfortunately for the Bears, who face off with TCU Wednesday night in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament, the NCAA ruled that the team is not allowed to wear the uniforms because only a team name or mascot can be on the front of a jersey.
Baylor will not wear "Sic 'Em Bears" uniforms in postseason. NCAA ruled only team name or mascot can be on front. #SicEm
— Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB) March 12, 2014
It seems like a rather insignificant rule to strictly enforce, especially when there is nothing distracting or obtrusive about a school putting its slogan on a uniform, but at the same time, one would think that Adidas would run the idea past the NCAA before they revealed the new jerseys.
This isn’t the first time that the NCAA has ruled against a team wearing a special uniform this year. In January, Iowa’s request to honor former standout forward Chris Street on the 20th anniversary of his death was turned down by the NCAA. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery told the Des Moines Register that the NCAA feared that too many teams would ask for similar exceptions if they granted that one, so they turned down the request.
Additionally, Akron wanted to wear its men’s basketball Twitter handle on the back of its jerseys in January against Ohio as part of a “Social Media Day” promotion, but the NCAA turned that request down too.