The first attempt to resolve the dispute was a (verbal) proposal made by me during my meeting with Finus Gaston. It was prompted by his comments to me that UA just wanted to "have a happy marriage" with me and, that everyone already considered me as being UA's "Unofficial Official Artist." My serious response to his statement went something like this:
"If UA would 'knight me' and make me The Official Artist of the University of Alabama Football, or something similar, then I could use that nomenclature on every print and in all of my advertising - it would thereby make each print I did 'licensable.' Finus, if you will get back to me with a proposal based on something like that, then I think your problem would be solved."
Finus never got back to me on that one. At a later date, Bill Battle said that the reason UA did not pursue that suggestion was because it would allow me to hold onto my position (of the image area being protected by the First Ammendment).
Towards the end of this meeting, Dr. Gaston made it a point to disclose to Mr. Moore the newly approved—but as of then unannounced—multi-million-dollar fund raiser for UA and that UA needed to utilize every source possible, including licensing fees, to achieve it's monetary goal and encouraged me to help with the efforts. In keeping with my team-player mindset, shortly after my meeting with Dr. Gaston, I created and proposed two clearly "licensable" projects that the University could license and from which its participation could generate funds. The combined projects and joint venture could have easily raised over $100,000 for the University through sales and licensing fees. Sadly, the University declined to participate in the projects (one of which had been previously licensed in the past) and refused to grant licensing for such, citing that I was trying to "pick and choose" the products that I wanted to be licensed.
As a 170-pound high school football player, I could dream of nothing greater than to be able some day to play for "The Bear" and to hear him say "Good job!" or "Way to go, Moore!" Of course, that never happened. But, in 1982, Coach Bryant personally shook my hand and said "Thank you for all you do for the University." Well, I was only twenty-eight years old at the time and I honestly did not feel like I had done very much at all. Ask any former Bryant-coached player, and they will tell you that Coach Bryant's motivations would somehow find a way to perpetually motivate that person. Indeed, Coach Bryant’s sincere act of appreciation motivated me to keep "doing" the only thing I was doing at the time—creating paintings of Alabama Football. But to the credit of Coach Bryant's gift of motivation, my paintings and I went on to do more for my alma mater as the years passed, such as: generating hundreds of thousands of dollars for the University in joint venture projects—creating and donating my original oil painting, The Sack, to the Paul W. Bryant Museum—journalizing and commemorating proud, historic events—speaking to and motivating elementary school children through the Paul W. Bryant Museum's "Art With the Experts" program on an ongoing annual basis—motivating existing athletes—and, assisting the Athletic Department in face-to-face recruiting. My Fine Art Prints (both licensed and unlicensed) have hungin the Alabama Football Complex and the office of Dr. Finus Gaston. The irony of this display was heavy throughout meeting with Dr. Gaston in his office.
At the outcome of my meeting with Dr. Gaston, and because of my stand on the positions of free speech and freedom of the press, Dr. Gaston stated that UA would no longer facilitate me in my artistic endeavors. My sideline-pass privileges were revoked. I was barred from buying advertising in all UA controlled media, including "rolltide.com," the "coaches' shows," game programs, and game broadcasts. I was barred from buying space to set up a booth on the Quad. Just recently, the UA Department of Legal Counsel told the Paul W. Bryant Museum's curator to renege on a previous agreement and arrangement that had been made between the Museum and the United States Sports Academy. The Museum had agreed to loan the original painting of "The Sack" (which I donated to UA) to USSA's museum for a month-long art showing of my works in conjunction with my being named "2005 Sport Artist of the Year" by that organization. The Bryant Museum's curator told me the reason given by UA Counsel was that it was "not in the University's best interests" due to our differing positions on the licensing issue. Also, as a result of my stand on Free Speech and Free Press, the UA Department of Legal Counsel forbade the Paul W. Bryant Museum from inviting me to speak to the elementary school children for their annual program, "Art With the Experts." This will be the first time in years that I will not have the pleasure of motivating these kids as a proud alumnus of the University.
And, ultimately, as a result of standing up for my constitutionally protected rights of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press my alma mater, the University of Alabama, is suing me and defaming my character by the charges it makes in the lawsuit. If UA's goal was to be punitive and to hurt me by taking all of the actions they have over the past three years, including the lawsuit, then they have succeeded. Nevertheless, I still love the University of Alabama family and hope that its faithful members will rally to my support. I intend to keep painting sports and Alabama Football. It is in my blood. I cannot give into this pressure to do things that are not right and that will have adverse impact upon the Constitutional rights of myself or my brothers and sisters who journalize and commemorate history.
UA ENCOURAGED, FACILITATED, SOLD AND SUPPORTED MOORE'S UNLICENSED PRINTS OVER A TIME SPAN OF 23 YEARS
UA validated and confirmed my role as a journalist, in that, UA viewed me in the same light as it did other journalists (note: courts give artist's the same access to trial proceedings as other journalists for the purpose of creating "journalistic" courtroom sketches). If one considers this fact with Webster's unabridged definition of "journalism" and the position of the UA Dept. of Journalism, it becomes resoundingly clear that my paintings (and prints therefrom) are protected by Freedom of the Press which allows the depiction of "marks" or "indicia," registered or not, within the confines of the work itself are a fair usage of those "marks."
1979—The Goal Line Stand (NOT LICENSED BY UA—REQUIRED NO LICENSE)
1980—The Top of the Line (NOT LICENSED BY UA—REQUIRED NO LICENSE)
1980—All on the Line (NOT LICENSED BY UA—REQUIRED NO LICENSE)
1980—The Making of a Legend (NOT LICENSED BY UA—REQUIRED NO LICENSE) Even with a very prominent use of the "A" on Coach Bryant's hat, the prints prompted no licensing concerns on the part of UA, either verbally or in writing.
January 12, 1981— In a letter from Mickey Holmes, Executive Director of the Sugar Bowl, Moore receives license for the use of the Sugar Bowl logo to be embossed in the margin (as an enhancement) of a limited edition print from a proposed painting of a Herschel Walker touchdown in the 1981 Sugar Bowl. In addition, for a marketing advantage, Moore sought for the prints (and was granted) the unique status of "The Official Limited Edition Collectors' Print of the 1981 Sugar Bowl." The Sugar Bowl required no money, but Moore sent a number of prints to Mr. Holmes as a token of appreciation. In addition, Moore permitted the Sugar Bowl to use the artwork on the cover of its 1982 Sugar Bowl Guide.
1981—Tribute to the National Champions (LICENSED BY THE SUGAR BOWL)
Late November, 1981—Through the vehicle of "The Crimson Collection" mailer, published and mailed by the UA Athletic Department, UA promoted and sold (for its own profit as well as for that of Moore's) all four of Moore's UNLICENSED prints to date of Alabama Football. NLA sold the prints and framing to UA at a wholesale price.