Tech Bans Offensive T-shirts, Issues Statement - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/9/07

Tech Bans Offensive T-shirts, Issues Statement

Texas Tech has banned the sale of a T-shirt bearing the likeness of former NFL star Michael Vick hanging the dog mascot of Texas A&M.

The red and black shirts, with text that says "VICK 'EM" in an apparent reference to the Aggies slogan "Gig 'em," was created by a Tech student.

Officials say the student was trying to sell them before Saturday's game in Lubbock.

The back of the shirt shows a football player wearing the number seven Vick jersey holding a rope with an image of the mascot "Reveille" at the end of a noose.

Vick faces up to five years in prison after pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges.

Texas Tech University President Jon Whitmore issued the following official statement.

"Texas Tech University is an institution of higher learning where values such as respect for others and civility are both taught and practiced. We will not permit individual students or any student organization to profit from selling merchandise on campus that is derogatory, inflammatory, insensitive, or in such bad taste that it reflects negatively on this fine institution, its students, athletic teams, alumni or faculty.

Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Shonrock stated that the student group that attempted to sell the T-shirt has been placed on temporary suspension and would face charges of violating the solicitation section of the Code of Student Conduct. He said that the firm producing the T-shirts had ceased production on Oct. 8 and apologized to the university.

Athletic Director Gerald Myers applauded the university's efforts to uphold good sportsmanship and said, "Texas Tech welcomes our annual football competition with the Aggies, but that competition should in no way encourage behavior that reflects poorly on all of Texas Tech.

The creator of the shirt, Geoffrey Candia, declined comment to The Associated Press. But Candia told A&M's newspaper, The Battalion, that Tech prohibited sale of the shirts on campus through his fraternity.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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