Save Tim Treebow! Can we do any less? The Ballyhoo Grill in Gainesville has what I consider one of the great landmarks in all of America, or had, until the NCAA and its band of merry attorneys stepped in.
Above is the chainsaw sculpture of a dead oak tree in front of the Ballyhoo — painted and dubbed “Tim Treebow” by the owner — which has drawn wide acclaim, including a mention in GQ MAGAZINE. But the Ballyhoo recently received a “Cease and desist” order from the University of Florida’s NCAA compliance staff. What was to become of Tim Treebow?
The sculpture was created by artist Sam Knowles and was finished in January, standing 7-foot-1 inches and weighing more than a ton (just like the real thing). It’s still firmly rooted, by the way, so moving it wasn’t an option.
The bar’s owner, Chris Fragale, received a “cease and desist” last week from UF, which noted that any depiction of a college athlete used to promote a commercial business is against NCAA rules. Not wishing to put the real Tim Tebow’s college eligibility in jeopardy, Fragale had the number painted over, changed from a 15 to a 7.
Um, wait. Isn’t No. 7 also in use for the Gators? That would be wide receiver Justin Williams. Why is his likeness OK?
Tim Treebow is not the only Gators icon to feel the terrible NCAA axe:
In April, Samantha Smith got flooded with media coverage by selling TeeBows. They’re women’s underwear shaped like a t, with a bow in front.
“We got a cease and desist order about three or four days later stating that we needed to take down the Florida logo and make sure we didn’t mention anything about Tim Tebow,” Smith says.
In another case, a newspaper in Baker County published a story about this turtle sculpture, called Tebow Turtle. Just a week later, UF cited the article as it demanded organizers remove all Tebow references. Tebow Turtle is now Touchdown. The number changed from Tebow’s No. 15, to No. 1 by painting over the five.
Still no word on this, however: