College basketball players are literally trying to pull the rug out from under the NCAA during 2019 basketball tournament.
Specifically, Yahoo Sports reports via the Wall Street Journal that the NCAA has tried to stop players from taking home branded bathmat-sized rugs that adorn the locker rooms. Players are known to take home as mementos everything from nameplates to NCAA-branded towels.
Not so with the rugs.
“I thought it would be a really cool souvenir to take home,” Purdue guard Ryan Cline told the Wall Street Journal of trying to wrangle a rug. “But a security guard was like ‘No, you can’t take it. Somebody from Florida State tried to and we wouldn’t let him.’”
The NCAA has confirmed that the rugs are not up for grabs.
“There is team-specific signage in every locker room that teams can take once they have finished playing at the site but we were clear that the rugs could not be taken,” NCAA director of media coordination and statistics David Worlock told WSJ.
Some players took the NCAA’s position on the rugs as a symptomatic of a larger issue. Iowa’s Josh Bohannon said he’s holding his rug hostage until the NCAA allows players to profit off their names, asking the organization to loosen its rules the restrict student-athletes from making endorsement money at the risk of losing eligibility.