Texas A&M isn’t going into the Kenny Hill jersey business


Fans won’t be able to buy Kenny Hill’s No. 7 jersey. (Rainier Ehrhardt / AP)

Kenny Hill may have had a terrific first game that excited Texas A&M fans, but don’t expect to see them wearing his No. 7 jersey in the stands this fall.

A&M denied requests from retailers attempting to get it to change its stance about not selling specific player jerseys, ESPN reports. A&M, along with other schools, decided earlier this year to make the move to lessen its exposure to litigation at a time when players are attempting to form a union and in light of the O’Bannon decision. “While  the O’Bannon decision doesn’t address how and if players would be compensated specifically for jersey sales,” Darren Rovells writes, “some programs are being conservative to minimize potential future liability.” From Rovell:

Despite the potential lure of royalties, sources say Texas A&M, as well as other schools including Arizona and Northwestern, have shied away from allowing licensees from making and retailers from selling specific player jersey numbers in light of current litigation brought by former players against the NCAA. While the O’Bannon decision doesn’t address how and if players would be compensated specifically for jersey sales, some programs are being conservative to minimize potential future liability.

Northwestern is only selling No. 51, the former jersey number worn by its head coach, Pat Fitzgerald, when he played at the school in the mid-90s. University of Arizona is selling No. 14, as in the final two digits of the year, while Texas A&M has decided to only sell No. 12. The move by A&M to deny requests to make product with Hill’s number confirms the school’s desire to stay away from the ambiguity of selling jerseys that can be attributed to current players.

So, for now, all Kenny Hill has to show for his 511-yard, three-touchdown passing performance is a sweet nickname bestowed by Johnny Manziel: Kenny Football.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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