Baller Vol: How is This Not an NCAA Violation?

Posted by rtmsf on October 6th, 2008

Gary Parrish had an interesting story today about an incoming Tennessee recruit named Renaldo Woolridge, a 6’8 top 100 power forward from Southern California who has an impressive bloodline – his dad happens to be former Notre Dame All-American (1981) and longtime NBA journeyman, Orlando Woolridge.

(photo credit:  MySpace)

The story goes into considerable detail as to the younger Woolridge’s burgeoning rap career, replete with the obligatory MySpace page and stage-friendly moniker, The Answer aka Swiperboy.  And yeah, we agree with Parrish when he says that it’s obvious after listening to the tracks that this kid has a little more talent than your average hoopster/rapper wannabe.

What really piqued our interest, though, was when we listened to the song, “Baller Vol,” which quite clearly pays homage to Woolridge’s new school and teammates (listen below).  We may not have caught them all, but we heard players Scotty Hopson, Wayne Chism, Tyler Smith, JP Prince and coach Bruce Pearl mentioned.

Not to be a total wet blanket here, because this seems like just a kid having some fun – Woolridge even mentioned that UT may use his track for player introductions this year – but how is this not an NCAA violation?  Wouldn’t Wooldridge’s production company, Swiperboyz Entertainment, be considered a commercial enterprise?  And if so, aren’t there fairly explicit rules as to the limitations or usage of the university’s logo and likeness?  For example, look at Rule 12.5.1.3(c) from the NCAA Rules & Regulations:

But on Woolridge’s MySpace site, it’s obvious that he’s a Vol and even includes a conspicuous image of him flexing while wearing a UT jersey.

(ed. note – this picture has since been removed from Woolridge’s MySpace page.  Coincidence?  photo credit: MySpace)

And what about the shout-outs to all of his current teammates on the song?  Per Rule 12.5.2.2, did Woolridge get express permission to use their names on his product, and if not, does it matter that UT probably hasn’t taken steps to remediate that likely omission?

Given what we wrote last week about the NCAA’s worthless investigative arm, none of this probably matters because there are bigger fish for the brass to fry at Prairie View and UC Davis, but coming from someone who remembers how Indiana’s Steve Alford found himself in hot water for simply doing a charity calendar photo two decades ago, we have to wonder how all of Woolridge’s UT-centric rapping reconciles with the NCAA’s rulebook.

rtmsf (3729 Posts)


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28 Responses to “Baller Vol: How is This Not an NCAA Violation?”

  1. Biff says:

    Last year, Ramel Bradley of Kentucky was forced to cancel a planned rap performance due to concerns that his status as a UK basketball player was being used to draw attention to his music and would constitute a NCAA violation.

    Seems like Compliance is a little less important in Tennessee

  2. Matthew says:

    Biff, maybe someone from UK’s basketball program can let UT know just how important NCAA compliance is. And how not adhering to NCAA rules can land your program on probation for three years, banned from post-season for two years, and banned from live TV for a year.

    Is Eddie Sutton available anytime soon?

  3. UTCanCheat says:

    Nah! UT knows that it is allowed to cheat (see Tee Martin’s free truck with no response from the NCAA) just like USC and Reggie Bush’s free home for his parents and again no NCAA violation.

  4. Matthew says:

    Nevermind.

    Woolridge is not being paid for any of this and there are no ties to him being a vol on his page. Its simply him rapping for fun. You can check the page and see. Give him a break.

  5. Give me a break…

    The kid’s multi-talented – what is the NCAA to tell him what talents he can/can’t use? Bobby Maze has a rap video too, is that illegal??

    please, I would even argue if the NCAA does anything it’s violating his freedom of speech…

  6. J says:

    Don’t you guys know…..It’s not WHAT you know but WHO you know. And as long as you are a media darling and garnering mass cash for the NCAA you can go right ahead and do yo thang!!! Yeah boyyyzzzzz!!!!!

  7. josh says:

    haters love living in the past. i can live in the past too. it’s called countless national and conference championships and the dominance of a conference you or your team will never know.

  8. rtmsf says:

    Matthew – did you miss the photo of Woolridge on his MySpace page standing in a UT jersey?

  9. Wow someone seriously needs to get a life. Did you really spend this much time over a kid rapping??? Wow so sad.

  10. Woolridge says:

    lmao

  11. mgraves says:

    Get a life.

  12. Mike says:

    I’m at a loss for words. . .

  13. Lame says:

    Yawn…

  14. Baller Vol says:

    The sad part of this story is that the author is now guilty of libel unless he has evidence proving that remunerations were, in fact, received.

    My guess is that the Woolridge family and the University of Tennessee have access to greater legal counsel than the author.

    The internet is serious business, d00d.

  15. Luke says:

    I’m failing to understand this at all. Both of the shots from the rulebook you posted are talking about being payed for whatever the off the court activity may be. This song isn’t on a CD for sale at any store or the internet. You can’t BUY the song or any album on which it’s included, therefore he can’t profit from it. I can’t even find anywhere to buy ANYTHING from or related to SwiperBoyz Entertainment, so your assumption that is an official commercial enterprise is off base. As is your allegation of an NCAA violation.

  16. williebill says:

    Dumb thought by Ky fan;envy is a terrible thing

  17. rtmsf says:

    Luke – Is SwiperBoyz Entertainment a 503(c) charity? If not, what is it? Is it a business? Is it completely made up? The point is that we don’t know and nobody else does either (except RW). It IS worth asking the question, though.

    Sometimes the appearance of impropriety is just as bad as any impropriety. If this is really no big deal, then why did RW’s MySpace site change overnight? All photographic references to NCAA basketball and UT were removed after this post came out and started receiving some attention.

  18. Luke says:

    What I’m saying is ANYONE can create a Myspace Music page and call themselves a professional musician. They can even make up a name for a record label (such as Swiperboyz Enterntainment) and put it there, but that doesn’t make it anywhere near real in the sense that it is a business. The extent of Swiperboyz is a Myspace Music page. That is it. The kid has the ability to put out professional quality material with professional quality equipment because, unlike your average rapper, he comes from money. Not because he’s making money off his music and funding his rap career. His father played in the NBA for 13 years. No one has shown a shred of evidence that this is anything remotely close to a commercial enterprise, yet we’re asking “how is this NOT an NCAA violation?”. You have got to be kidding. Like I said earlier, where is this track available to buy? Where is any track or album associated with Swiperboyz Entertainment available to buy? Where can I do anything of any sort that would be financially beneficial to the creators of this “commercial enterprise”? This is absurd.

  19. rtmsf says:

    Luke – again, if UT or RW wasn’t taking it somewhat seriously, why did all photographic evidence of his persona’s affiliation with NCAA basketball and UT come down overnight?

    I get your point on whether Swiperboyz Entertainment is a business entity or not, but you’re missing ours in that it’s really not my call or your call whether that’s true. It’s UT’s compliance office and ultimately, the NCAA’s decision. Just because you cannot purchase a CD yet doesn’t mean there aren’t/weren’t plans to do so. The site mentions that there will be a CD coming out in October. Is that a free cd?

    If so, even you would admit that a free CD talking about UT players would fall under promotional materials, and according to NCAA rule 12.5.2.4, other promotional activities need to be cleared with the school first. Was that done in this case?

  20. Luke says:

    Sure, neither you or I can say for 100% certainty that it is or isn’t a business entity. I’m saying that all signs point to it NOT being one and just a kid and his friends dreaming about a rap career. While you’re assuming it is by asking; “how is this NOT an NCAA violation?” Look, if this was something he was making money off of or planning to make money off of, don’t you think someone would have squashed it by now? Do you really think UT is going to let Gary Parrish come in and do an exclusive national story if it was even remotely fishy? Tennessee has dealt with the NCAA before, enough that something this obvious isn’t just going to slip through the cracks. And there is precedent for college athletes making and releasing music, music that mentions other players. It is not an NCAA violation. I’m talking about Miami football and the “7th Floor Crew” which, like Woolridge, was nothing beyond a Myspace Music page. Even if Woolridge released a free CD, it doesn’t change the fact that he isn’t profiting from it, and neither are his teammates.

  21. rtmsf says:

    Luke – thanks for your comments. Seriously. Hopefully we’re both learning things here.

    I’m still not sure I agree with you that there was no violation here. Again, look at the above photos that were on his site last night. Why were they removed if there was no problem?

  22. Luke says:

    I can’t say for sure why he would take the picture down. But if he isn’t profiting or planning to profit from the music, it’s a moot point. And like I said, there’s nothing to support he’s making money, nor would Tennessee ever allow it to happen. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say he was advised to take it down as a precaution because people may misinterpret the situation which, in my opinion, is what’s happening here. But regardless, we can just agree to disagree and I’ll continue to read the blog. I’m ready for actual basketball.

  23. jamessye says:

    Coming from a University of Arizona fan, who gives a sh#t. The kid is having fun, and what’s wrong with a kid using his talents on and off the court to possibly [I don't think the kid is moving any units...lol]. This sounds like spilled milk.

  24. Logan says:

    Marcus McClinton, a safety on UK’s football team made a video last year of a song he wrote. the video had several players in it, and was used to open home games. How is that any different? As a die-hard UK fan, its in my blood to hate anything UT, but give the kid a break, he’s just doing what he likes to do.

  25. BuckFama says:

    I just want to know why a bunch of grown men want to get some 18 year old kid in trouble for doing what is allowed him in the Constitution? I mean seriously…it honestly sounds like you people are just mad because he is more talented than you. I have two words for all of you…..GROW UP!

  26. nvr1983 says:

    Buck,
    To be perfectly honest we’re both fairly content with our day jobs. Rtmsf is just calling it like he sees it. If potentially violating a NCAA rule is protected by the Constitution then Woolridge has nothing to worry about.

    PS Good luck finding a new football coach.

  27. taylor says:

    NO money was made for from or with this in ANYWAY… songs are NOT sold… and are just fun things he does for the school… but he does not charge for anything… and no donations accepted…

  28. rtmsf says:

    The NCAA says no to a lot of things that are marketing-related but aren’t for sale or involve money.

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