Sportress of Blogitude

College Football

WVU Would F**kin’ Like It If Fans Would Stop Wearing ‘West F**kin’ Virginia’ Shirts

(screengrab edited to protect the delicate sensibilities of some readers)

You know it’s bad when the athletic director of a Division-1 college football program has to plead with the school’s fans to politely stop wearing shirts which glorify and pay homage the state which the university calls home courtesy of the insertion of an F-bomb into the name of said state, lest the profane shirt be captured by national television cameras, thereby casting a bad light on the hillbilly, backwoods reputation of the aforementioned state.

But sadly, that appears to be the case for West Virginia University, whose athletic director, Oliver Luck, has formally asked that Mountaineers fans refrain from wearing the now infamous “West Fu**in Virginia” shirts to games. You may recall that ESPN cameras captured the above hilarious image during WVU’s nationally broadcast game against Marshall on Sept. 4.

Luck issued a formal plea via an open letter published on West Virginia University’s athletics website, The letter in its entirety follows.

The open letter (via USA Today):

Mountaineer fans:

During the opening game of the 2011 WVU football season, one of the ESPN cameras showed a young man wearing a blue t-shirt with “West F##### Virginia” on the chest. Based on the TV rating of the game, this picture was seen by at least a few million people around the country. I think you would agree with me that this is not the image of our University and our state that we want to promote.

I would like to ask you to help me convince people who are wearing these t-shirts to reconsider their choice of attire. I recognize that the First Amendment protects free speech, and as a lawyer, I am more than familiar with the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the landmark 1971 case, Cohen vs. California, which is the law of the land regarding public institutions (like WVU) and protected speech. But as my dad used to tell me, ‘just because it is legal does not mean it is right.’ And I certainly believe that people wearing these offending t-shirts at Mountaineer games, or anywhere else, for that matter, are damaging the reputation of our state and its flagship institution of higher learning.

I would like to request that if you see someone wearing one of these t-shirts that you politely ask him or her to change or to cover it up. Even wearing it inside-out would be an improvement. As you know, we have a big home football game against LSU coming up next Saturday and we would like to present a more favorable image to the millions of football fans from around the country who will be watching the game. Be polite, be courteous, be friendly-but do speak up.

Thank you for your support of the Mountaineers!

[signed Oliver Luck]

Nicely done, Athletic Director Luck. I’m afraid your choice to draw even more attention to the shirt could very well result in even more fans sporting the t-shirt in question, or at least some variation of it. Desperate pleas like these tend to backfire, and when you’re dealing with a bunch of inebriated, young, college football fans, that likelihood becomes even greater.

So, to you Oliver Luck, on your attempts to clean up the image of the fans who follow your football team, I have but one thing to mention to you:

Good “Luck” with all that.

WVU asks fans to wear tasteful T-shirts to games [USA Today]
[image courtesy of The Big Lead]