Ohio State mocks Sandusky scandal with tasteless T-shirt
The college football season opens Thursday, and nasty taunts referencing the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal have begun.
A photo of an Ohio State fan T-shirt that reads "I'd rather shower at Penn State than cheer for the Wolverines" went viral Wednesday, causing a bit of an uproar.
"We recently became aware that this T-shirt design is circulating on social media," Gayle Saunders, OSU assistant vice president of media relations, wrote in an e-mail. "This is not a University sanctioned T-shirt, and we have no knowledge of where it originated. It is unacceptable and appalling that someone would make light of a tragedy in this manner."
Former OSU basketball star Jared Sullinger tweeted: "For y'all to come out with shirts about PSU is giving Ohio state a bad name. We respect our opponents and we respect the victims."
The "shower at Penn State" line refers to a 2001 incident involving Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach. Then-graduate assistant coach Mike McQueary testified he saw Sandusky rape a boy in the showers of the PSU football building. Similar designs popped up at Iowa and LSU. The Ohio State T-shirt photo was first posted on Jezebel, a popular women's blog.
According to Karen Days, president of the Center for Family Safety and Healing located in Columbus, the fact that someone printed the T-shirt at all is disturbing.
"I was so encouraged by the support of victims and outcry," Days said. "We get so far ahead, and then something like this happens. It's almost one of those times when you think, 'When are we really ever going to change the culture?'"
Penn State declined to comment.
Caleb Slye, 21, a Penn State senior, said there were some stupid people out there: "(Some) will do anything to make a little bit of money. They'll exploit it."
By Nicole Auerbach