The Belmont game Thursday against Murray State started off with the promise of free T-shirts, but failed to deliver.
Students were told by Student Affairs that the first 1000 students to get to the Curb Event Center would receive a free “I Believe in Belmont” themed homecoming T-shirt, but when they arrived they were greeted with what Student Affairs called “rally towels” which did not say “I believe in Belmont.”
Those towels were the homecoming shirts cut down to size.
Avid Belmont fan, senior Emily Sanford admits that while the shirts weren’t the reason she came to the game, the rally towels were certainly unexpected.
“I don’t think anyone expected half a T-shirt when they were standing in line before doors opened. But I have to say we laughed it off pretty well,” Sanford said.
Alumnus Kyle Bolt, however, was not as amused.
“I felt that it was just really cheap, I would have rather not gotten a T-shirt than received a rally towel, or as we were calling them, rally rags,” Bolt said.
Belmont Athletics representative Jimmy Frush, director of athletic marketing and external affairs, said that Athletics wasn’t involved with the design of the T-shirts, only the distribution at the game.
Student Affairs released a statement today on their Student FYI blog saying there was a “misunderstanding regarding the design and copyright” of the T-shirts.
The blog statement continued, “Yep, we take copyrights very seriously, especially at Belmont where the value of intellectual property impacts many in our community (can I hear an “Amen” creative-types?).”
Nashville clothing designer Adrien Saporiti has a clothing design called “I Believe in Nashville” which is one word off the slogan that was supposed to be on the shirts.
When contacted at his store, Saporiti directed his response to be handled by Belmont’s general council, Jason Rogers.
As of 5:30 p.m., the Vision had reached out to Vice President of Administration and University Counsel, Jason Rogers, but has yet to receive comment.
Student Affairs officials had no further comment.
Katie Greene and Courtney Martinez contributed to this report.