NFL yet to allow Bengals WR to put Ocho Cinco on jersey

BALTIMORE -- Chad Johnson has changed his name, but his jersey remained the same Sunday.

The Cincinnati Bengals receiver legally changed his name from Chad Johnson to Chad Ocho Cinco, but the NFL decided against allowing him to put his name on his jersey.

"While the NFL has recognized the legal name change of Chad Johnson to Chad Ocho Cinco, the league informed the Bengals today that certain issues remain to be resolved before Ocho Cinco will be permitted to wear his new surname on his jersey," the league said in a statement.

"He will wear the name Johnson on his jersey today and will be referred to as Chad Johnson on the official play-by-play sheet," the statement said. "Further questions should be directed to the league office."

Contacted Sunday by The Associated Press, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, "He has a financial obligation to Reebok, which produces the jerseys available to fans. That has to be resolved before the on-field jersey can be changed.

"The same obligation exists for any player that changes his number or name."

Before watching the Indianapolis Colts play their first regular-season game at Lucas Oil Stadium, Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that the name change on the jersey would likely occur soon.

"He's legally changed his name, so we're willing to recognize that," Goodell said. "There's what I call a more administrative issue that has to be dealt with. There's a large inventory of jerseys that are out there with 85 Johnson. Any player that changes a number or changes his name has to address that so that our licensing is not stuck with a large inventory. That's just something we're dealing with. As far as we're concerned, if he changes his name legally, that's fine with us."

After the Bengals' 17-10 loss to Baltimore, Ocho Cinco refused to address the NFL's ruling.

"I ain't worried about the name, man. We just lost the game," he said. "I ain't worried about that."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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