Surprise – PJ Fleck Doesn’t Own the Phrase ‘Row the Boat,’ Western Michigan University Does
When Western Michigan University held their press conference to announce the departure of head coach PJ Fleck to Minnesota, there was no surprise as media had gotten wind of the story the evening before and the Golden Gophers got the jump on Western by a few hours with a presser of their own. But there was very interesting detail to come from WMU's press conference: the school not PJ Fleck owns the licensing rights to the phrase Row the Boat.
Row the Boat was the mantra used by Coach Fleck to motivate his players and energize the Bronco fan base. But it was revealed by Western's Athletic Director, Kathy Beauregard, that the phrase is the property of the university, not Fleck, and it's future use is very much in doubt. MLive.com reports on Beauregard's statement,
"I know it's something that's going to come up," Beauregard said. "Yes, we do own the licensing regarding Row the Boat, that was part of the discussion and commitment when he first came to the university. Those discussions were definitely with his agent, himself and also our university attorneys and our staff as to how we came about doing that and what we would do."
So Fleck leaves, but his most famous saying may very well be staying put.