WMU reaches “Row The Boat” deal with Fleck

WMU reaches

By Levi Taylor, staff writer

Tragedy strikes for local sports fans. A blow has been issued to the Western Michigan University football program. The coach that led them to an undefeated season and MAC 10 championship has decided to move on.

The nearly 24,000 students who attend the university have come to know the slogan as a lifestyle, chanting it at sporting events and even sporting it on t-shirts. As such many students were confused and upset upon learning that the slogan they knew so well would no longer belong to Western. PJ Fleck, former coach for the Broncos, accepted a job to coach the Minnesota Gophers and he is taking the slogan with him.

“I am going to be surprised if students actually stop saying row the boat,” future Western student Triston Rogers ‘17 said.

Sbnation.com reports that Fleck and the university came up with a $50,000 deal to transfer the trademark of the slogan to Fleck, meaning that he will be able to use it without fear of legal action.

Fleck pursued this because the montra stems from his personal history. The motivational phrase, as Fleck has stated publicly, is one that is highly personal and grew out of the way he and his family coped with the loss of their infant son. This is the reason why obtaining the rights to the slogan is so important and personal to him and he hoped that Western Michigan students will understand.

“I didn’t hear about this until now but I think it is completely reasonable that he is taking the slogan with him,” Gabe Austin ‘17 said.

The slogan ‘Row the Boat’ is more than just a motivational phrase to coach Fleck, it is his way of remembering to be strong and keep pushing in the hardest of times.