Minnesota Gopher wrestler Joel Bauman’s dicey tug-of-war for the right’s to his name has gotten the redshirt sophomore plenty of local and national media attention. Last week, the Kerkhoven, Minn. native was featured on The Daily Show in a satire titled, “The NCAA’s Perfectly Fair Rules.”
From The New York Times to Sports Illustrated, the 21-year-old from a town of under 800 residents has renewed conversation and criticism at NCAA guidelines that prohibit student athletes to profit from their name.
It prohibits Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel from being sponsored by Adidas and ensures that college sports remains amateur. But Bauman, who produces music under his real name, has been told he would lose his scholarship (10 percent of tuition) if he continued.
The problem is that his song, “Ones in the Sky,” is being sold on iTunes for 99 cents. And despite that Bauman has made no profit from his side endeavours, it still does not sit well with the NCAA as The Daily Show portrays.
Bauman would be able to both wrestle and produce music if he would operate under an alias, but he refused, citing that it would go against his beliefs.
Since the tug-of-war over his name was picked up by the media, his video has gotten more than 40,000 views and free publicity for his side-gig has spread internationally.
Well played, Mr. Bauman.