Rugs featuring the March Madness logo have reportedly become the hottest commodity for men’s basketball players during the NCAA tournament.
The rugs, which are not for sale, have been taken by players after their team has either been eliminated from the tournament or is set to move onto the next stage, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
Purdue guard Ryan Cline told the newspaper he made it as far as the hallway with one of the rugs, but a security guard stopped him. Cline said the guard told him a Florida State player had also tried.
Texas Tech forward Tariq Owens admitted he wanted the item too.
“I want it,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “I ain’t gonna lie. I’m plotting on it.”
Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon issued an ultimatum to the NCAA in reply to The Wall Street Journal’s tweet.
“Give us the ability to make money off our own name and we’ll give you your rug back. You have 24 hours, @NCAA,” he wrote.
He later tweeted that the NCAA told Iowa the rug can stay as long as he apologized.
“After much deliberation, the @NCAA has agreed with the @uiowa the rug can stay in Iowa City as long as I issue a mea culpa. With that, I am sorry for my actions. No one is denying the incredible opportunities the NCAA provides for athletes like myself. I am forever grateful,” he wrote.
NCAA officials, speaking to The Wall Street Journal, appeared to have different rules on whether programs were allowed to take the rugs.
“We want the players to have a home feel in their locker rooms,” NCAA director of the men’s basketball championship’s Ron English, told the newspaper. “When their time is over and they are leaving, win or lose, they can help themselves.”
However, NCAA director of media coordination and statistics David Worlock said it was made the clear the rugs were off limits.