This is wild. UPDATE: Or maybe not so.

The University of Arkansas has, according to Arkansas, sent a letter to Celebrate magazine to “cease and desist” distribution of copies containing the feature about Razorback basketball players modeling clothes from local merchants and to try to recall all possible copies.


TAP, help me here if you’re able. Can they do this? Or, better put, get away with it?

Who would issue such an order? If the players and school screwed up by participating in the shoot — and even if it was a minor violation — what legal standing does the university have to stop distribution of the magazine containing material freely given (but later regretted)?


Some more legal interpretation is necessary on this story, clearly.

UPDATE: A small change. Now the reporter says what was issued was a cease and desist “notice” from the University, not an “order,” as was originally written. If I were the publication, I think I”d be inclined to go all Jack Nicholson on the UA and tell them to sit on their cease and desist, but I’m not a society magazine with a letter from the 800-pound gorilla of NW Ark. and I don’t know what agreements were made prior to publication between the UA and the magzine. It would be even tougher if the basketball team was winning. More to come on what happens if Celebration doesn’t desist, I guess.


UPDATE II: Our ad hoc media law expert speculated correctly first that this was a notice and not an order, as originally reported. And he makes a guess about the reason for the UA letter — proof to NCAA regulators that it did not acquiesce to publication and did what it could to stop distribution of images of scholarship athletes in a manner not allowed by NCAA rules. See the comments