COLLEGE SPORTS

Ohio State denied request to trademark 'The'

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University has lost its fight to trademark the word "The." The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office turned down the university's request to trademark "The" when used as part of the school's name on university merchandise. OSU submitted the trademark application last month.

The patent office cited the trademark appears to be used for "merely decorative manner" and as an "ornamental feature" that doesn't appear to function as a trademark that would differentiate the items from others.

The school requested for it to be put on various items including T-shirts, baseball caps and hats. The office says the university will have to prove the trademark would allow consumers to directly associate the goods with their brand.

California college athlete 'fair pay' bill goes to governor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Athletes at California colleges could hire agents and sign endorsement deals under a bill the state Legislature sent to the governor Wednesday, setting up a potential confrontation with the NCAA that could jeopardize the athletic futures of powerhouse programs like USC, UCLA and Stanford.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has not said whether he will sign the bill. But the NCAA Board Of Governors is already urging him not to, warning that if he does California colleges and universities would eventually be banned from NCAA competitions because of their "unfair recruiting advantage."

"It would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics," the Board of Governors said in a letter to Newsom. "These outcomes are untenable and would negatively impact more than 24,000 California student-athletes across three divisions."

The state Assembly and Senate sent the bill to the governor without a dissenting vote in what Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley said was "a loud and clear message to the NCAA." Several Republican senators noted they had planned to vote against the bill but changed their minds after listening to the debate and, in some cases, lobbying from their children.

"This is one of those situations where I think we need to blaze the trail," said Republican Sen. Jeff Stone, who said his daughter played water polo in college.

Newsom has 30 days to either sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

Donald Remy, the NCAA's chief operating officer and chief legal officer, said their letter to Newsom "is not intended to be a threat at all" but is "a reflection about the way California is going about this."

The NCAA believes the bill is unconstitutional because it violates the federal Commerce Clause , and would consider challenging the bill in court if it becomes law. But Democratic Sen. Nancy Skinner, who authored the bill, called that "a hollow threat."

"This is meant to scare us," she said.

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From wire reports

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