NCAA Nixes Twitter Handles on Akron Jerseys

Written By:  •  Tuesday, January 29, 2013

University of Akron Zips basketball ncaa - feature

The University of Akron is holding a “Social Media Night” when they host Ohio in a nationally-televised game Saturday night. There will be hastags on the floor (#theplacetobe #GoZips#ThinkBigger), but the NCAA has swooped in and made sure the team didn’t make the huge mistake of adding the Men’s Basketball Twitter handle (@ZipsMBB) on the backs of the jerseys.

Why, you ask, was this averted? Who knows. The NCAA rules enforcement is known for little more than their capricious rulings on this sort of thing. Is it against the rules? Probably of one rule or another, but why step in and enforce this particular item? Well, the company who adds the name plates to the game jerseys made the grievous error of verifying that it was OK to do.

University of Akron Zips basketball ncaa - fronts

The Zips go Zorro style, all black with Zs

The school had sent out 12 personalized jerseys to media, with their own twitter handles on the back. The media was talking about the team. (Not here, where we were strangely left out of the jersey bonanza. @sportslogosnet or @JRFrancisSLN would look great on the back of a jersey. Any team’s jersey, really. Hint.) The Zips, having a great season but largely undercovered by the media has found a way to get the word out, to get writers talking about them. But the NCAA found a way to step on the necks of the people trying to have fun, very NFL-style.

University of Akron Zips basketball ncaa - twitter handle

@ZipsMBB was ready to adorn the backs of their jerseys.

The special jerseys followed the latest trend in basketball jerseys: looking like hockey sweaters. One big logo at the center has be prevalent in quite a few designs lately, and Akron is set to wear a huge Z logo on the front, for the Zips.

But why should we get upset about the NCAA stomping on the roach that is “fun” in basketball. Rules are rules, right? We can’t all of a sudden allow them to do whatever they want on the backs of their jerseys, right?



Wyoming versus UNLV, 2012

Quite cool that Kevin Service, Dan Integrity, John Duty, and Chris Service all happened to be standing next to each other in this still from a video clip after the Wyoming versus UNLV football game from 2012 to honor the military. Oh, that is not the players’ names? Its another gimmick that the NCAA allowed? Well, surely this was on accident.

Boston College football ncaa Dominique Williams, Josh Keyes, Carmen Dello lacono

Boston College Military Appreciation Day, 2012

Oh, so John Duty plays on both teams? No, this is another one of those games where the names were replaced by patriotic terms. Boston College this time, against Maryland. OK, well, this is football. Perhaps the rules enforcement is different between the sports.


NCState basketball valvano

MC State versus UConn in 2012

The Don’t Ever Give Up triplets, Jim, James, and Jimmy, play smothering D on the UConn ball handler. Oh, nope, this is another promotion, a one-time game where NC State wore nets around their necks and Jimmy Valvano’s famous saying on their backs. So, this trend even occurs in basketball.

Sure, the examples about are all positive messages, and the Zips were attempting a publicity push. But is that really the difference? I’m sure the NCAA will have their ticky-tacky, specific, pedantic subset of a bylaw ready to quote for everyone that says something to let them ban the twitter handle. Maybe its like a password to a simple account, it can’t have a special character.

Whatever the reason, the NCAA blew this call. Let’s hope the refs have a better game.



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JR Francis

JR Francis is an actor, writer, director, graphic designer, UX guru, father, comedian, and craft beer snob. You can reach him at or on Twitter @JRFrancisSLN*One of several full-time uniform reporters this site has including its founder, Chris Creamer, who started his site in 1997

  • ..this type of “publicity” was used about 3 seasons ago in the Mexican Soccer league and worked well.
    Personally I like the use of space to promote and new advertising trends.

  • Cuserell

    The NCAA didn’t blow it. This isn’t a motto or a creed. This is the equivalent of placing an ad on a jersey. I work in SM and many of my peers in the industry have said the same as well.

    • Chris Creamer

      This is much an advertisement as putting the school name on the front of the jerseys is… both promote the school in one way or another.

  • Delayed Penalty

    Let the teams put whatever they want on the back of their jerseys. Hell, let’s go all XFL again! HE HATE ME!

  • Ryan Zundell

    Schools need to start standing up to the NCAA. If I was Akron I would have just done this anyway and let the NCAA punish me in some way and use the examples above as my defense. Where does the NCAA draw the line? This is ridiculous. NCAA needs to back off, this is just a school trying to promote their brand.

  • Chris Oglesby

    Twitter handles on a Jersey is tacky

  • The NCAA cares about tacky jerseys now?

  • It’s ok, they made up for it with the hideous front.

  • Kyle

    According to John Buccigross on Twitter, the women’s hockey team for St. Lawrence University in New York will be wearing Twitter handles on their jerseys this weekend. What makes them more special than Akron’s men’s basketball team? Typical NCAA on this. Here is the article he posted:

  • Joe

    how about the NCAA stopped it because it’s just dumb, simple as that?

  • enough with the twitter stuff, its bad enough here at mississippi state we put our twitter handle in the endzone

  • Coacher42
  • Alex Giobbi

    Thank you. I thought that was stooopid enough.

  • ingmar66

    I think the NCAA likes to prohibit anything that they haven’t thought of themselves. So the moment @iluvNCAA is activated, teams will be allowed to put their hashtags on their uniforms. Just wait and see. I do not like twitter at all, so I still think it looks stupid on a basketball shirt, but that has nothing to do with this. The NCAA is just green with envy that they are not as advanced as the Zips. What happened to that kangaroo logo of Akron? Like it much better than the Zorro Z, which looks out of place on the shirt of a team from the midwest.

  • Damon Selman

    In 10 years, the Akron players will be thankful for the NCAA for putting kibash on the twitter handles. This is the equavalent of a bell-bottomed baseball jersey during the 70’s!