Archive for Saturday, March 3, 2007

Rude shirts a disservice to KU spirit, group says

March 3, 2007


A group of Kansas University athletes is hoping a popular T-shirt that disparages the University of Missouri will disappear from the stands at Allen Fieldhouse next basketball season.

KU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee says it hopes to create and distribute a T-shirt in coming months that will become more popular than the widely worn "Muck Fizzou" shirt. The shirt remains a popular choice of attire for games - even when KU isn't playing Missouri - despite attempts to discourage students from wearing it.

"We're the University of Kansas, and we're classy. We're better than that, quite frankly," said Matt Baysinger, a member of the KU track and field team who is leading a committee to find and promote an alternative to the T-shirt.

When ESPN came to the Fieldhouse earlier this season for the Missouri game, the crew members had trouble finding students to put on camera because they didn't want to show the T-shirt. During the game, the ESPN crew asked the athletic department to make an announcement asking students to turn the shirts inside-out, but the department declined to announce it, associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said.

Days later, Scott Winer, a KU junior who was in the ESPN truck during the Missouri game, wrote a letter to the editor of the University Daily Kansan asking students to think twice about wearing the shirt.

Kansas University&squot;s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee wants to clean up "distasteful" T-shirts, including the popular "Muck Fizzou" shirts worn by Jayhawk fans.

Kansas University's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee wants to clean up "distasteful" T-shirts, including the popular "Muck Fizzou" shirts worn by Jayhawk fans.

"ESPN comes to one of the most storied arenas in all of college basketball to kick off a week dedicated to student spirit, and it can't even show most of the students in the crowd," Winer wrote.

Marchiony called the shirt "distasteful."

"We don't want it in our arena," he said.

Marchiony said that even though the department opposes the shirt, the recent effort to discourage people from wearing it began with the students, not the administration.

The slogan is ubiquitous on campus. Even the student newspaper has printed it on shirts.

"For a short time a couple of years ago, we sold some that had the Kansan logo on the sleeve," said Malcolm Gibson, general manager of the Kansan. "It was a one-time thing for us, and we don't plan to do it again."

A group of KU student-athletes hope to see the end of a popular T-shirt

KU's student-athlete advisory committee is working on a plan to create and distribute an alternative to the infamous T-shirt that contains an implied obscenity directed at KU rival Missouri. Enlarge video

Many of the shirts come from, 734 Mass., whose owner, Larry Sinks, is involved in a lawsuit filed by KU alleging some of his shirts infringe on the school's trademark. Sinks said he first printed a version of the T-shirt in the 1980s, then stopped until about six years ago. Since he set up his shop downtown a year ago, he's sold about 700 of the T-shirts.

Sinks said it was "ridiculous" for KU leaders to discourage people from wearing the shirt.

"They're trying to control everybody in this town," he said.

Even though the "Muck Fizzou" design is one of the shirts KU has asked Sinks to stop printing, Marchiony said that shirt isn't KU's main concern in its lawsuit against Sinks. The lawsuit is still in the discovery phase.

"That's not the shirt we're after," Marchiony said. "We're after things like 'Kansas Swim Team' with sperm on it."


classclown 11 years, 3 months ago

""We're the University of Kansas, and we're classy. We're better than that, quite frankly," said Matt Baysinger, ..."


Apparently not.

drewdun 11 years, 3 months ago

GD, the KUAD is on a major-league power trip. Fifty year old businessmen making obscene amounts of money off 18-22 year old athletes (who get none of the material benefit generated by their athletic prowess), telling others what is distasteful.


Emily Hadley 11 years, 3 months ago

So ESPN can show violent, bloody, injurious competitive fighting, but they think the words "Muck Fizzou" are not acceptable for family viewing??

I'd certainly rather see any T-shirt than witness some of the things that the athletes themselves do, much less have to witness acts like harmless live animals being abused by crowd members before a sports event in a display of aggression and dominance.

brett conrad 11 years, 3 months ago

Maybe our Football consultant should look into this matter.

ksmattfish 11 years, 3 months ago

""We're the University of Kansas, and we're classy. We're better than that, quite frankly," said Matt Baysinger,"

You are definately the kind of weenie KU fan the sports radio guys make us all out to be.

The bigger deal you make about it, the more popular the shirts will be. Or they might even be replaced by something more offensive. Ignore it, and it will probably go away on it's own.

topekan7 11 years, 3 months ago

Isn't Kansas University the school that will be playing its HOME football game against the University of Missouri IN the state of Missouri this fall?!?!? That is the most distasteful and disrespectful action this university and its athletic department can possibly do to alienate its fans and supporters. It's far more disrespectful than Muck Fizzou. The Muck Fizzou phrase has been around since the 80's at least. If the university wants to see it go away, then stop hyping the "rivalry" and play your home games at home. At K-State, students are encouraged to wear a particular shirt to home football and basketball games with the enticement of sitting in a better section at the games. The money raised from the sale of the shirts promotes philanthropy. So they have on tasteful shirts with a positive outcome and they've been doing it for years. Now don't you think the administration at KU could come up with a similar scheme? Maybe not.

getzee 11 years, 3 months ago

You've got to be kidding me. "Muck Fizzou" offensive?! How many times over the last several years has the ESPN camera crew shown some idiot at Fizzou with a sign reading "gayhawk." How about a Big 12 conference-wide rule on the issue. When I watch a game broadcast from Columbia without seeing such a sign, I'll gladly burn my shirt. Until then, I wear it loud and proud!

GuardChica 11 years, 3 months ago

How about the athletics department directly communicates with the students? I heard none of this before the Mizzou game; in fact, I didn't know anything until the Kansan wrote the story. The department probably has access to the same student listserv everyone else does - and should use it. We can't read its mind.

topekan7 11 years, 3 months ago

Here's an example of KSU merging philanthropy and t-shirts: The recent "Blackout at Bramlage" was a direct result of this program.

Brandon Perkins 11 years, 3 months ago

Tuck Fexas!

maybe we should just throw animals onto the courts instead.....

oldvet 11 years, 3 months ago

How about a joint resolution with the powers at MU... they ban the Antlers and their behavior and we'll ban the shirts in Allen... until then... Muck Fizzou!!!

anybody else remember POPP?

sourpuss 11 years, 3 months ago

KU is a midwestern party school. How does "classy" fit into this equation? Are the friggin' Cambridge or something?

Other "classy" things KU does:

Once a year, people parade down the hill in plastic caps and gowns,

Leaves manholes open for blind people to fall into,

Tells sports fans they aren't rich enough to be fans anymore,

Spends more on a new kitchen for Strong than on a biology lab,

Cuts funding to research groups with international prestige and craps out on requirements to keep large government grants,

Puts poorly-painted mascots all over town,

Sends restricted student pass/fail information to listservs,

Leaves security holes open on servers that contain information on international students, which are then stolen,

Writes and uses the most malformed student enrolment system in the country and lags behind implementing true online enrolment several years when compared to peer universities.

You're right. Classy!

ModSquadGal 11 years, 3 months ago

KU is much more than a "midwestern party school." I think the shirts ARE offensive (albeit funny). I agree - just don't let students in that are wearing them (but they'll probably just wear them under another shirt).

Basically, these shirts bring us down to the level of Mizzou and K-State, which is exactly what we are trying to avoid. It doesn't take too much imagination to figure out a way to stop doing that.

StirrrThePot 11 years, 3 months ago

Free speech is nice. Team spirit is nice. Rivalries are nice. Being an immature college student is nice too, while you are one. One of these days though, my kid will learn to read and when I see that KU student in Hy Vee with a Muck Fizzou shirt, I am going to have some explaining to do. Maybe I will have the college student explain it instead. "Hey Mr, can you please tell my kindergartner what your shirt means?" That will be fun.

You can't stop it, and as ksmattfish said, now they will be EVERYWHERE as a result of this press. Great. At least we aren't throwing batteries and quarters yet, like Mizzou does. We're still less rude than Mizzou! Yay!!!

BTW, people who wear those shirts to any game other than a Mizzou game look even more stupid. You bought that shirt, can't you buy another one for all the other games?

mom_of_three 11 years, 3 months ago

Yes, I thought it was funny the first time I saw one, but it is offensive. No one outside of Lawrence is going to realize that the University doesn't promote those shirts. My 14 year old asked to buy one and I said no.

williaa 11 years, 3 months ago

I agree with hurlehey_boy about what it "costs" to be a KU fan. Since I am an alum and no longer a student, I can not afford to attend a game since they re-structured the ticket policy. I would much rather support some slimebag who screenprints offensive t-shirts on Mass St. than buy a $30 dollar t-shirt that has a non-offensive logo on it that the university paid a research group to develop. I mean, oh no, ESPN couldn't find any students to show on TV. Why not show the crusty alumni sitting on their butts quietly watching the game and discussing recent business trips that KU encourages to take up the majority of the seats? KU seems to be very conflicted!

Tyson Travis 11 years, 3 months ago

Hey! Has anyone thought that we really should be cheering FOR Mizzou today? They'll probably be in over their heads since they're playing A + M on the road today, but if they should prevail, that's one less team we might have to share the title with. Of course, I hope KU can settle it all with a victory. I live in Arkansas, and many years ago, there was a t-shirt made after a regional victory over a highly-rated UA team that had "Arkansas" at the top, with the "AR" crossed out. I bought one, never thought it was in poor taste, but KU tried to quash the sales. I cheer for both teams unless they play each other, then it's KU undisputed. What do you say to your kids when they see one of those Mizzou shirts on TV, and ask you to explain it? Really, single-entendre shirts like this are in poor taste, we all should root FOR our neighbors like MU and KSU unless they're playing KU or trying to recruit talent away from us. We're well ahead of both in the overall rivalry, why can't we come up with something clever and less offensive? Myself, I'll be doing the inverted "hook-em-horns" in about an hour, it's just as valid in Ark. as in the Phog!

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 3 months ago

I am rushing out to buy a Muck Fizzou shirt now! They been around for years and I don't recall anyone being traumatized by them. I can assure you when I was a 5th grader 20 years ago I heard just as bad language on the playground!

girly 11 years, 3 months ago

I thought I saw the t-shirt for sale at the book store on 23rd street also.

Stephen 11 years, 3 months ago

"with sperm on it" ummmmm, can't we say seamen.

toefungus 11 years, 3 months ago

It is time to organize a day when everyone attending a game wears the tee shirts. Call it free speech day. The fact students wear such shirts gives hope to everyone that the power of the state has limits.

TheOriginalCA 11 years, 3 months ago

Michigan fans proudly wear t-shirts saying "Buck the F---eyes" Does ESPN discourage those too?

Also, if Larry Sinks is like he was in high school, then KU can ring that (bleep) up and hang him out to dry. I have been waiting for him to get busted for such infringements.

EXks 11 years, 3 months ago

Take your meds & lighten up old timers and morality police, its just a t-shirt!!

Speaking of rude, what about the 'Jesus is my boss' or t-shirt?

Some of you need to get a life!

Ray Miller 11 years, 3 months ago

I once saw a t-shirt for sale that said "How dare I wear this fking shirt in front of your gd_n fking kids!"

Of course, the shirt did not have the blanks that I added. I was so impressed, I bought 10 of them.

ToriFreak13 11 years, 3 months ago

ps. lol!!! ESPN is not going ANYWHERE......they come to us because we simply have the best fan support in college...ask Dick....who by the way says stuff like "DIPSY DOO DUNKAROO" explain THAT one to your kids lmaooo.....we dont need to bow down to them!! they have more than one camera angle....and plenty of time to prep each shot before taking that camera live...GIVE IT UP!!! as for parents explaining stuff to their kids....WATCH SUPER NANNY....YOU RUN YOUR HOUSE NOT YOUR KIDS!!!!!...and why the h e double L are track athletes leading a campaign against this? lol COACH make them run extra for this lol

Mike Blur 11 years, 3 months ago

You are all missing the point once again, people.

All this "Muck Fizzou" stuff is the lingering effect of the ultra-right Christian censorship of the broadcast networks. It started with Janet Jackson in the Super Bowl's "wardrobe malfunction" and had extended to daytime soap operas and NASCAR drivers flipping each other off on TV.

You can say "it's only a t-shirt" all you want, but if ESPN risks multi-million dollar fines simply from broadcasting crowd shots at Allen Field House, you can bet they'll opt to go somewhere else (maybe somewhere less offensive, like where chickens are thrown on the floor?)

If TV network cameras go dark at AFH, atrophy of the basketball team will quickly follow.

C'mon kids, there are dozens of cooler, better looking shirts you all can wear!

drewdun 11 years, 3 months ago

"Whiners, complainers, politically correct and "touchy-feely" folks abound in Lawrence!

What a load of crap!

KU also thinks that it owns a ton of intellectual property to which it has no real claim; KU simply bullies its way around pushing folks into submission.

I hope that the t-shirt shop wins the lawsuit!



Right on! The moguls at the KUAD are simply out of control. Message to Lew and Marchiony: GET OVER YOURSELVES

classclown 11 years, 3 months ago

Or one that says "You can't be _UCKED without KU"

compmd 11 years, 3 months ago

There is nothing offensive about the word "muck." The word "fizzou" is in fact made up. ESPN's desire to not show the phrase is simply because they don't like it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Disney owns most of ESPN. And if ESPN doesn't like it, Lew and Jim don't like it. If you don't agree with them, they don't have to let you go to their events. Oh, wait, they are university events, right? Not with these idiots in power.

The stupidity rate in this city is increasing at a truly alarming rate. I feel as if the number of people who not only give a crap but are also willing to do something are dwindling rapidly.

If I made shirts that said "Lew and Jim: GO STFU!" I bet tons of people would buy it. After all, it would be supporting Saint Francis University. It has absolutely no vulgar meaning to it whatsoever.

Sigh, now i just have to wear my actual STFU and OMFG (Ontario Mega Finance Group) shirts more often.

On a more serious note, its incidents like this that make more and more alumni ashamed of their alma mater. Just ask around.

Kuku_Kansas 11 years, 3 months ago

Personally, I hate the t-shirt and would never buy or wear one.

But to "ban" it, c'mon now...

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 3 months ago

The shirts are lowbrow. Those who wear them make themselves and the university look lowbrow. Freedom of speech is a right that people don't respect the power of: they use it to rationalize bad behavior, which is why it seems like almost no one seems to be able to remember what it feels like to use it for something positive.

People died so you can wear vaguely profane shirts on gameday. If you cannot think of anything better to do with your freedom of speech, then wear the shirt. But, I'd like to see some positive messages on the backs of our students for once.

britt408 11 years, 3 months ago

As far as I'm concerned, I'll wear whatever I want to basketball games. I pay thousands in tuition to this university every year, unlike the Student Athlete Advisory Committee b/c I'm sure most of them are here for free or very cheap. So until they pony up the big bucks to go here, then maybe they can talk. Until then, I'm going to keep wearing my Muck Fizzou shirt. Besides, I've seen more offensive shirts worn by Mizzou fans.

yankeelady 11 years, 3 months ago

The shirts were amusing at first, but it's time to move on. I don't like ESPN telling us what we can wear in our own field house. It seems like its all about money to the athletic department, as usual. All this will do is create a resurgence in popularity of the shirts, censorship always does that. And yes--I remember POPP, I still have a button around somewhere. Those were the days.

ToriFreak13 11 years, 3 months ago

So much for freedom of speech??? Funny how the Jayhawk mascot used to be depicted carrying a bat with a spike in it back in what the 70's?? How many of the people complaining have ties to Bush bashing memorabilia? aka BUCK FUSH. It's ok to bash the president of the country but please dont bash Missouri. lol
I like how one of the "athletes" interviewed is named Winer.
But the saying "Win or Lose, We Will Still Booze." is not on top of their list. lol and here the infamous Journal World is right on top of this good ol story to defend our university athletes....when it took them how many years to start tracking our graduated athletes in their professional careers???? They tracked discarded Royals players before keeping track of Jayhawks in the pros. lol pitiful

Confrontation 11 years, 3 months ago

"People died so you can wear vaguely profane shirts on gameday"

Really? I don't recall learning about the war fought for vaguely profane shirts on gameday. Gee, and some people actually think that fighting for oil is a stupid idea.

ksmoderate 11 years, 3 months ago

Friends University in Wichita used to be Friends University of Central Kansas...or _UCK. If KU played Friends, then the t-shirts could say "_UCK _UCK"

Linda Endicott 11 years, 3 months ago

Well, I don't know about that, actorman...Spike TV is a cable network, and they show nudity all the time...especially later at night.

I'm not sure what the rules are concerning cable networks.

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