Latest trend for college football coaches: Trademarked names

Thursday, November 7, 2013

At a time when none of his players can make money off their fame in college sports, Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney has trademarked his name.

Ohio State is in the process of trademarking coach Urban Meyer's name and the phrase "Urban Meyer Knows," U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records show. Kansas State has a detailed licensing agreement to use the name and likeness of Bill Snyder. Washington coach Steve Sarkisian negotiated the right to approve all uses of his name, voice, signature or likeness.

Yet if a player at any of these schools doesn't like the way he looks in an ad promoting the football program, his only power to change it is to make a request — which the school is free to honor or reject.

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