In the midst of a lawsuit by the University of Alabama over the proper use of Crimson Tide colors and logos, the University has officially trademarked “Roll Tide” as its own property.
The move comes as artist Daniel Moore continues his legal battle over his right to depict classic moments in Crimson Tide football history in his paintings.
“With regard to trademark infringement, UA argued that the First Amendment does not give anyone the right to infringe on others’ trademarks,” a UA spokeswoman said. “Of course we believe freedom of expression is a key component of the University of Alabama experience. But don’t get it twisted: freedom ain’t free.”
The trademark, approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will allow the University to collect royalty fees any time someone writes or utters the phrase “Roll Tide.” Students will be charged $1 to their student account each time they utter the iconic cheer.
Some students, already strapped for cash, have expressed frustration with the new fine.
“Drunkenly screaming ‘Roll Tide’ on gameday weekend is a tradition as noble as homecoming,” said Thomas Ford, a senior majoring in communication studies. “There’s no price you can put on it.”
Today alone the University has accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars from students showing school spirit. Interim President Judy Bonner said she wanted to assure students that the money would be used in a productive manner.
“At the University of Alabama, we are always very deliberate in how we spend funds,” Bonner said. “However, that doesn’t mean necessarily that we’ll be able to divulge that information to students. FERPA, FERPA, something something.”
Even more lucrative than the student fee will be the money generated on gamedays. The entire athletic department will likely be funded through students and fans expressing their love for the University of Alabama.
Operatives trained by the Internal Revenue Service will rove the Quad on gameday to collect money from fans. Those that refuse to pay will be escorted off the campus and may have future tickets revoked.
By also charging non-students also, Bonner hopes to lower the number of controversial incidents involving fans. “We’re hoping to avoid another teabagging scenario,” she said. “That was pretty awkward.”
UA lawyers are also looking into claiming a retroactive trademark to sue ESPN into oblivion for that ‘Roll Tide’ commercial they made in 2010.