Because something so callous and large can't make it through an incident without compounding the damage, there are now officially licensed t-shirts commemorating Kevin Ware's broken leg. It's as if the NCAA was a giant planet and, twirling around, its gravity attracts all the possible shitty ideas.
The beautiful thing about the NCAA is the way they toe the line between what is technically legal in some low rent country and what is outright unethical. For only $24.99 you can purchase an official adidas “Ri5e to the Occasion” Louisville t-shirt. You will note, the 's' in rise has been exchanged for a '5'. This is because Kevin Ware adorned the '5' when playing basketball. It's a little work around, you see, because to sell merchandise with an amateur athlete's name is technically against some NCAA bylaw. But to paste his number onto a shirt at an above average price after that player has gone down with a season-ending injury is completely within the rules.
Though according to WDRB.com, Louisville isn't making any money on the shirts. Brent Seebohm, the University of Louisville associate athletic director says U of L, “proactively decided to waive any traditional licensing royalties revenue connected to the No. 5 graphic to be worn by the team on the court. . . . The shirt was created as a respectful tribute to honor Kevin within NCAA trademark apparel parameters, and allow fans to rally around the team. Because of that, Adidas is contributing a portion of every sell to the university's scholarship fund.”
*Wipes hands* Well, thank goodness. Good to hear Louisville isn't directly profiting off the injury of one of its players. No, just Adidas will be. And the funny thing – in a whole shit storm of funny things that aren't actually funny just depressing – is by waiving the royalty fee from printing #5 t-shirts, Louisville is acknowledging the '5' in 'Ri5e' is Kevin Ware.
There's really no way to whitewash this, and perhaps that is what's most offensive. The NCAA is not concerned at all. Somedays it's just not enough to make a multi-billion dollar industry on, what comes out after rough math, to just about slave-labor.