Baseball team changes promotion
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A minor league baseball team changed a Tim Tebow promotion after receiving a cease and desist e-mail from the University of Florida.
Fort Myers Miracle fans expected "What Would Tim Tebow Do?" night Wednesday, but the theme was changed to "What Would T.T. Do?"
I don't think Tim Tebow would send destruction on us.” -- Florida fan Andrew Wynot
The Naples Daily News reported that senior associate athletic director Jamie McCloskey told the team NCAA rules prohibit the names or pictures of its athletes from being used in commercial promotions.
Miracle director of media relations Gary Sharp told the newspaper that the team was a little upset but tried not to let it ruin the night.
"We kind of feel special," Sharp told the newspaper. "The University of Florida knows who we are now. [Athletic director] Jeremy Foley and [coach] Urban Meyer were copied on the e-mail. But we plan on following their request."
However, a funnel cloud was spotted as fans were entering the stadium, leading some to wonder if it was a sign sent to warn the Miracle not to mock Tebow.
"I think Tim Tebow is a fan of anything related to getting his name out there," Florida fan Andrew Wynot, who attended his first Miracle game, told the Naples Daily News. "I don't think Tim Tebow would send destruction on us."
Wynot also said that he thought the cease and desist order was harsh.
"I think it's kind of ridiculous," he told the newspaper. "I can see where UF is coming from but the Miracle are just doing it for fun. They're not trying to profit off of Tebow, they're just trying to get their team out in the public and get some attention."
A ceremonial jump-pass started Wednesday's game against the St. Lucie Mets. Fans received promise rings and watched a character called "T.T." try to walk on water.
The team also thought about including a mock circumcision among the activities but decided against it.
"We bounced all kinds of ideas around when we thought of the promotion," Sharp told the newspaper. "But we wanted to keep it tasteful."
Tebow has led Florida to two national titles and is known for his charitable work.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.