Someone may be printing T-shirts with an Ohio State message that makes lights of the Penn State sex abuse scandal.
The shirt, which no one has been able to confirm exists for sale, is causing outcry on the OSU campus and across the country.
The shirt reads, "I'd rather shower at Penn State than cheer for the Wolverines."
A Clintonville mother and Ohio State alumna is working to make sure the shirts are destroyed and any production is ceased.
"Livid is not a strong enough word to how I feel about it," said Molly Litfin.
Litfin said that she first saw the shirt online, and she immediately turned scarlet.
"To have people take away that this is 'What Buckeye fans are,' It just isn't true, and that hurts me almost as much as the children who have suffered," Litfin said.
Litfin posted an online petition.
"I'm asking the officials at the NCAA, the Big Ten and the Ohio State University to step up and be the first to call for an immediate halt to production and destruction of these horrible, offensive shirts," Litfin said.
Nearly 24 hours after the petition was posted, 500 signatures were gathered.
Ohio State University officials issued a statement regarding the T-shirts.
"We recently became aware that this T-shirt design is circulating on social media," officials said in the statement. "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.'
Students echoed those feelings when shown an image of the T-shirt.
"I think it's gross," said OSU senior Emily Aubry. "It's not in the spirit of good sportsmanship that the university tries to promote."
Ohio State freshman Christopher Love said the same.
"I don't agree with the shirt, I don't like the shirt. I think it's definitely a bad idea," Love said.
Ohio State officials said that if any fans wearing offensive shirts try to enter Buckeye games, they will be asked to exchange it for an Ohio State T-shirt before entering. Those who choose not to make an exchange are given the option of a ticket refund.
The T-shirts do not violate Ohio State licensing or trademark rules because it does not contain the words "Ohio State" or "Buckeyes."
The head of licensing said that Penn State or Michigan could have trademark complaints with the T-shirt.
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