McConnell camp screws up basketball footage a second time, but no NCAA violations resulted

03/25/2014 07:18 PM

For the second time in a day, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign issued a mea culpa and took down an online video for gaffes related to college basketball footage.

First, the video used a clip of Duke players celebrating a national championship in 2010. The campaign took it down after Louisville Eccentric Observer political editor Joe Sonka pointed it out. The video was replaced this time containing a clip of current University of Kentucky Julius Randle.

That prompted UK to issue a cease and desist letter to the McConnell campaign, according to a statement from the UK Athletics Department. NCAA rules forbid student athletes from endorsing or appearing that they’re endorsing a political candidate.

McConnell’s campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore issued her second “oops” statement of the day related to the video.

In part the statement read:

Since that time, we have received correspondence from the University of Kentucky, we have spoken with them, and the matter has been resolved. To be clear, neither the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville nor any student-athlete was aware of any image used in this video, and actions have been taken with the vendor to ensure this never happens again. We have also reached out to the University of Louisville to make sure they are aware of the situation and offered our full cooperation to clear up any misunderstanding. It was our intention to honor our great Kentucky basketball traditions. Our campaign apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Lucas Baiano is the political filmmaker who has been working on McConnell’s videos, including this latest one.

UK Athletics confirmed that officials consulted with the NCAA about the video using footage of Randle.

From the UK statement:

Although the use of the student-athlete’s image in the advertisement is not permissible, because it was done without the knowledge or permission of the university or the student-athlete, it is not an NCAA violation. The University of Kentucky has sent a cease and desist letter and will continue to take appropriate measures to ensure improper usage of a student-athlete’s name, image or likeness is prevented.


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