The gray T-shirt Georgetown center Patrick Ewing wears under his jersey no longer has the Nike Inc. logo on it.
That is because the NCAA called Georgetown Tuesday to inform the Hoyas that such a shirt violates NCAA rules. Ewing may wear a T-shirt, the NCAA says, so long as there is no advertising on it.
"It's just an interpretation matter," said David Berst, NCAA director of enforcement. "The kind of shirt being used is not available to the public . . . and, as I understand it, this shirt was created for that (Hoya) program and for that player."
Berst added, "If they (Nike) started marketing this shirt (to the public), I don't think there would be any problem."
The Hoya players all wear Nike shoes and have the logo on their team socks. Many other college teams also wear shoes and socks that carry the logo of a company.
Georgetown Coach John Thompson, like many college basketball coaches, is paid a conulting fee by Nike, which supplies equipment at no cost to Georgetown.
"The NCAA said wearing the shirt would be in violation of rule 3-1(E), which deals with the promotion fo products," said Frank Rienzo, Georgetown athletic director. "This discussion has been going on all year. In December, the NCAA said (wearing the shirt with the Nike Inc. logo on each short sleeve) was perfectly all right. Since then, it keeps coming up, coming up."
Rienzo said it does not make sense that a logo can be on shoes and socks, but not T-shirts.
Rienzo said that the same Nike T-shirt that Ewing has worn throughout this season is, in fact, available to the public.
Rienzo said he will make an "informal appeal" to the NCAA after this season. Until then, neither Ewing nor teammates David Wingate and Gene Smith (who also have worn the Nike T-shirt at times this year) will wear the shirt.