Flagship tells Iceburg Mouthguards “cease and desist”

Last week SFN pointed out the Leslie McDonald-Iceburg Mouthguards NCAA violation (refresh your memory here), which was just the latest in The Flagship’s increasingly-long list of NCAA violations.

Today, The Flagship, ever the harbinger of accountability and institutional control (pretty much the backbone of The Carolina Way), sent a nasty “cease and desist” letter to Iceburg Mouthguards (WRAL):

The university has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Iceberg Guards about rising senior guard Leslie McDonald, who until recently had been listed on the company’s website as a user of its products. It’s the second off-court issue involving a UNC player the school has faced this offseason, following leading scorer P.J. Hairston’s June arrest on a misdemeanor drug charge while driving a rental vehicle.

NCAA rules generally prohibit athletes from endorsing or promoting a company or product.

“We sent a cease-and-desist letter to Iceberg regarding Leslie McDonald,” said Steve Kirschner, UNC’s senior associate athletic director for communications. “They took his name off their site as a customer last week.”

Kirschner said the school has no official relationship with Iceberg to provide mouth guards or services to UNC athletes, nor with the two men — Spencer Howard of Durham and Lee Gause of New York — who formed Iceberg Holdings LLC and are listed on incorporation documents filed with the North Carolina secretary of state’s office. Howard is an oral surgeon who graduated from UNC’s School of Dentistry, while Gause is a dentist who earned his undergraduate degree from UNC.

A request by The Associated Press for a copy of the letter under the state’s public records law hasn’t yet been granted. The school has declined an AP request to interview McDonald, who made at least one post on social media about wearing a Tar Heel-themed Iceberg mouth guard in a game last season.

On Feb. 21, two days after the Tar Heels won at Georgia Tech, a photographer whose work is featured on the official UNC athletics website tweeted a photo of McDonald wearing a distinctive mouth guard featuring the school logo as well as the argyle pattern that trims the team’s uniforms.

McDonald tweeted in response that it was “made by Iceberg.”

Alex Gause, Lee’s brother and a UNC graduate who works as a dentist in the same practice, tweeted the photographer and McDonald that the mouth guard “looks great! Custom made via IcebergGuards 4 anyone who’s curious.” He also linked both his and his brother’s Twitter feeds in the post. Lee Gause retweeted his brother’s post.

The school has declined to say how McDonald acquired the mouth guard. Iceberg’s website shows customized mouth guards — including one endorsed by former UNC player Danny Green — ranging from $150 to as much as $1,500.

That’ll show ’em!


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UNC Scandal

16 Responses to Flagship tells Iceburg Mouthguards “cease and desist”

  1. golf76 07/19/2013 at 9:31 PM #

    When is an adult going to put UNX in time out? This has been going on for 3+ years. And it continues still. WTF.

  2. redcanine 07/19/2013 at 9:48 PM #

    Is that the best you can do, Iceberg Mouthguards? Wait until the folks from Watercress Tooth Shield get a hold of this. As for me, I rely on Romaine Oral-Safe for protection. “Cease and Dentist”

    Lettuce enjoy how this plays out.

  3. PeeDub 07/19/2013 at 11:10 PM #

    ^ So radicchio.

  4. MrPlywood 07/19/2013 at 11:33 PM #

    Accepting gifts. Delaying action until everyone gets the story straight. Shady relationships. Direct and/or indirect contact with agents. Sound familiar?

    GaTech got hammered for one player accepting $312 worth of clothes. Including losing a banner…

    Just another precedent.


  5. Paramarine 07/19/2013 at 11:36 PM #

    Seems like a rash decision on U*NC’s part; I would’ve expected them to wait until more facts are in.

  6. Greywolf 07/20/2013 at 6:34 AM #

    What is with this “vacating a title?” All you have to do is declare yourself champion and buy yourself championship rings.

  7. wolfonthehill 07/20/2013 at 7:29 AM #

    I’m actually a bit surprised they explicitly SAID that the school has no official relationship with the company. Doesn’t that automatically make McDonald wearing it an NCAA violation? I’d have expected them to somehow spin it in a way that the school provided it to him…

  8. graywolf 07/20/2013 at 7:48 AM #

    It’s the Carolina Way…it’s their montra. The amount of money going to the NCAA via the cheaters basketball program speaks greater volume than than a 1500 dollar mouthpiece.
    But don’t let a state player sell a pair of shoes.

  9. MP 07/20/2013 at 8:12 AM #

    ^^^ha. I wonder if da asterisk will be forced to vacate their imaginary division championship.

  10. Pack78 07/20/2013 at 8:21 AM #

    Same u*nx pattern here…Compliance dept. over there is as competent at their function as Tami was at her ‘job’ with the Dental foundation. If Jay Carney leaves the White House, Kirschner should be first in line as his replacement…

  11. TheAliasTroll 07/20/2013 at 8:32 AM #

    41 – 10!!!

  12. James 07/20/2013 at 10:20 AM #

    I’m confused. The article says that UNC-Chapel Hill has no official relationship with Iceberg. The cease and desist letter demands only that Iceberg cease marketing products with photographs of current players. Doesn’t Iceberg market products with Chapel Hill’s logo and colors. If so, the letter does not address those products. I’d be very interested to know if the university ever received royalties from those sales.

  13. Prowling Woofie 07/20/2013 at 2:04 PM #

    James, I think they just got credit at the Hertz counter…

  14. slamma 07/20/2013 at 6:52 PM #

    One would think UNC-CH’s athletic department would want to sue for trademark infringement if they weren’t cool with those mouthguards to begin with.

  15. MrPlywood 07/20/2013 at 10:12 PM #

    “I’m actually a bit surprised they explicitly SAID that the school has no official relationship with the company.”

    That’s their strategy all along. They call it “self reporting”, then encourage everyone to just move along. The other go-to technique is to dismiss any new revelations as “old news”, as if the facts were public knowledge all along.

  16. Texpack 07/21/2013 at 10:57 AM #

    No official relationship = rogue company.

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