An promotional flier featuring Justin Parker, a former Beaufort High School football standout and current Clemson linebacker, has been forwarded to the university's compliance office for review, athletics spokesman Tim Bourret said in an email Thursday.
A picture of Parker and teammate Darius Robinson in their Clemson uniforms appeared on a flier promoting a party at Beaufort's Club Encore on March 3, Parker's birthday. The flier, posted Wednesday on Twitter by former Beaufort High running back Alex Simmons, reads "Ain't no party like a Pisces party! Party with Nique, JP & D Rob @ Club Encore. Saturday, March 3."
NCAA rules prohibit using an athlete's name or likeness to promote a commercial product. Parker said Thursday he didn't know the rule.
"But now I do," he said.
Bourret said his department was unaware of the flier until contacted by The Beaufort Gazette.
"Our compliance staff will investigate the matter," he said.
It is unclear whether the party is a for-profit event. Attempts to reach a Club Encore representative were unsuccessful.
Parker said he didn't make the flier. Simmons said he received the flier from Parker on Wednesday morning.
"It's not actually my party, it's my cousin's party," Parker said. "Me and her share the same the same birthday. I was going to be home that weekend."
The issue of athletes' name and pictures used in promotions has been raised recently.
The NCAA became involved after a Florida resturant used the name of Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins to promote a Christmas party last year. Clemson delivered the party's promoter a cease-and-desist letter, and Watkins' eligibility was not threatened.University of North Carolina receiver Dwight Jones was ruled ineligible by the school for the Independence Bowl after he allowed his name and image used to promote a birthday party in Burlington, N.C. Jones was later cleared to play in the game after the party was canceled. South Carolina football players Jadeveon Clowney and C.C. Whitlock came under scrutiny after their pictures were used to promote a party this past December in Rock Hill.
A post on the NCAA's website addressed the issue of athlete's name and likeness and said exploitation is a problem, that athletes might not realize their image is being used for commercial purposes.
The NCAA website says athletes who can prove their name or likeness was used without their knowledge are not subject to punishment.
"Combating this type of exploitation remains a challenge," the site says.