To the editor:
I think that what the University of Kansas is doing to Larry Sinks and his store, Joe-College.com, is absolutely disgusting. The courts have already made their decision in this case. KU got some money and Sinks had to stop printing over a quarter of his inventory, but it wasn’t enough for the boys on the Hill.
This latest rationale, as stated by the university’s attorney in Friday’s Journal World, that “When you have a company like Joe-College out there selling unlicensed merchandise, you are literally taking money away from students,” is a bunch of hogwash. They are trying to put a noble spin on their greedy motivation to completely crush one man’s business.
Like gangsters who go around to businesses extorting money for “protection,” the university wanted a piece of the pie that Sinks was baking with his generic T-shirts, which among students and Lawrence teens were becoming increasingly popular, but were nowhere close to outselling officially licensed KU apparel. But what the university doesn’t understand is that by trying to crush Sinks, they have actually turned him into a folk hero, a defiant local business owner standing up against the big, bad multi-billion-dollar entity that is the University of Kansas. Careful, KU, they make cheesy movies about this kind of thing. You wouldn’t want to turn Mr. Sinks into an Erin Brockovich of T-shirt selling, now would you?