LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech has banned the sale of a T-shirt bearing the likeness of former NFL star Michael Vick hanging the dog mascot of Texas A&M.
The red and black shirts, with text that says "VICK 'EM" in an apparent reference to the Aggies slogan "Gig 'em," was created by a Tech student.
Officials say the student was trying to sell them before Saturday's game in Lubbock.
Vick faces up to five years in prison after pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges.
Tech officials late Tuesday announced a student group is temporarily suspended and will face judicial review for allegedly violating the student code of conduct.
Geoffrey Candia, the creator of the shirts who is with the Theta Chi fraternity, told The Associated Press they're taking full responsibility.
Candia says they realize the shirts shouldn't have been printed.
The following is a press release issued by Texas Tech University in the wake of the Vick'em shirt controversy:
Texas Tech University has issued an official statement concerning an offensive T-shirt designed by a Tech student who, through a campus organization, attempted to sell the shirt on campus.
President Jon Whitmore said, “Texas Tech University is an institution of higher learning where values such as respect for others and civility are both taught and practiced. We will not permit individual students or any student organization to profit from selling merchandise on campus that is derogatory, inflammatory, insensitive, or in such bad taste that it reflects negatively on this fine institution, its students, athletic teams, alumni or faculty."
Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Shonrock stated that the student group that attempted to sell the T-shirt representing a football player holding a dog by a noose around its neck with the caption “Vick ‘Em” had been placed on temporary suspension and would face charges of violating the solicitation section of the Code of Student Conduct. He said that the firm producing the T-shirts had ceased production on Oct. 8 and apologized to the university.
Athletic Director Gerald Myers applauded the university’s efforts to uphold good sportsmanship and said, “Texas Tech welcomes our annual football competition with the Aggies, but that competition should in no way encourage behavior that reflects poorly on all of Texas Tech."