It appears there are some quite sensitive people in Bloomington Indiana.
I first read this story in this Indy Star column:
And to think, while a corrupt coach was leading IU onto the floor to play Wisconsin, Assembly Hall security had nothing better to do than force a fan to take off a shirt reading “Bring Back Bobby.” He was asked to remove it twice. Twice, he put it back on.
Nice to see that freedom of speech is alive and well on our college campuses.
The story is starting to get picked up by both the media and the blogosphere:
The fan wearing this shirt, who identified himself only as “Tucker,” was asked to remove this shirt by Assembly Hall officials.
Apparently, you can’t wear a shirt that says “bring back Bobby” to an Indiana game. Or so says a man named Josh (pictured), who called into the “Front Row Ticket” on 93.9 FM in Louisville.
According to the story told to hosts Rick Bozich and Jody Demling, Josh was asked by an IU security guard during the first half of last night’s game to remove his homemade white t-shirt because it was “offensive.” His other option, again according his story, was to be arrested. So he removed it.
The lack of negative feedback Saturday was notable, although this is a place where, during Wednesday’s loss to Wisconsin, a man who wore a homemade t-shirt reading “Bring Back Bobby,” was forced to remove it by security officials who said the reference to Bob Knight was offensive. There is a library on campus, so I guess they don’t burn books here, but as controlled environments go, the Hoosiers basketball cult is thriving.
What was once as stable a program as there was in the country has spiraled. The Hoosiers enabled Knight long past the point of defense, treated his replacement Mike Davis like dirt even when he won for them and then hired a known rulebreaker to replace him. Indiana will have its hands full dealing with the fallout but one thing they shouldn’t do is take it out on innocent parties. Like the fan who wore a t-shirt calling for Knight’s return to Bloomington.
The original incident on Wednesday was only picked up by a few outlets but once word leaked out, things started to escalate.
In yesterday’s column for the Indy Star, Bob Kravitz wrote:
As all this silliness commences, I want fans at tonight’s IU-Michigan State game to do something: Wear a T-shirt with a hand-written message. It can be any message. Josh Tucker, the Louisville, Ky., man who was nearly tossed from Assembly Hall on Wednesday for wearing a “Bring Back Bobby” shirt, will distribute shirts before the game. Or you can make your own. You can write “Fire Kelvin.” You can write “Free Kelvin.” Say whatever you want to say, and say it by wearing a T-shirt that expresses your sentiments.
Once again Assembly Hall security got involved and now the national media is picking up the story.
“Bring Bobby Back” read a T-shirt one fan wore during the Hoosiers’ Wednesday loss to Wisconsin.
That got him threatened with expulsion, but he was on hand again Saturday with another of his homemade shirts.
“Bring Back Integrity,” it said on the front, “Bring Back Bobby Knight,” on the back.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. The day began here in the People’s Republic of Bloomington with security personnel confiscating T-shirts reading “Bring Back Integrity” on the front and “Bring Back Bobby” on the back. It seems the Shirt Nazis (and there were Sign Nazis, too) didn’t think it would look good if Indiana University’s fans showed up on ESPN’s “GameDay” expressing anything other than school spirit.
But banning a sweatshirt with “Bring Back Bobby” from Assembly Hall? That’s stepping way over the “maintaining proper decorum” line.
The crisp February day started with a disgruntled Indiana fan from Louisville handing out “Bring Back Bobby [Knight]” T-shirts [for which he said he was asked to leave ESPN’s “GameDay” show inside Assembly Hall]. Another man stood on the sidewalk across the street wearing a homemade version of the same shirt and holding a sign to match his slogan.
How much easier would have it been for Indiana if they just ignored this guy?