There was shock! and outrage! after an Onward State editor tweeted a photo from a bookstore at Penn State that showed a T-shirt with the C in NCAA logo replaced with a hammer and sickle, but the truth behind the T-shirt is a lot less scandalous than you'd imagine.
Onward State's Kevin Horne tweeted the photo, seen above, earlier this evening with the caption "For sale at the student book store." The shirt is implying Mark Emmert, executive director of the NCAA, the guy who handed down the crippling punishment to Penn State's football program, is a dirty, stinking communist. The tweet took off, and Horne was bombarded with enough replies blasting Penn State that he felt the need to clarify:
Ugh look what I did.— Kevin Horne (@KevinHornePSU) August 8, 2012
So I take it you guys don't like the shirts?— Kevin Horne (@KevinHornePSU) August 8, 2012
Worth noting that the shirts aren't university approved. They also have nothing to do with sexual abuse, just an outrage with the sanctions.— Kevin Horne (@KevinHornePSU) August 8, 2012
Still in poor taste, but it's not as evil as my mentions would indicate.— Kevin Horne (@KevinHornePSU) August 8, 2012
Anti-NCAA does not = pro-Paterno or pro-child abuse. Come on you guys, I thought we all hated the— Kevin Horne (@KevinHornePSU) August 8, 2012
Guys. It's a fucking stupid t-shirt. A piece of cloth. Made in Honduras. That's it. Stop it.— Kevin Horne (@KevinHornePSU) August 8, 2012
Alas, context is everything here. Deadspin's Barry Petchesky and SB Nation's Brian Floyd both pointed out the shirts aren't sold at the university's official book store, just one that licenses a space on campus, and they aren't sanctioned by Penn State. The Student Book Store is not the same as the Penn State Bookstore. The shirts all come from the same company, Smack Apparel. Their bread and butter is shirts smack talking your favorite team's rival, both in college and pro sports. It's stuff the worst guy in your Economics 202 course would wear.
The Student Book Store sells a bunch of Smack Apparel T-shirts supporting the school's football program: one says "We Are... Still Proud," in Penn State blue and white; another says "Coach, I Got Your Back." The communist shirt is the most shocking, though.
To Horne's credit, he thought of an even better idea for a T-shirt:
Mark Emmert isn't a communist...just a really bad dude. Now there's a t-shirt.— Kevin Horne (@KevinHornePSU) August 8, 2012
All this controversy for some mechanical pencils.