It's gaudy enough that Mississippi State's new Adidas-made, school-approved baseball warmups cop Starkville's unofficial nickname of "StarkVegas" and emblazon it on a "Welcome to Las Vegas"–style sign. But the shirts also read "f--- the school up north" in upside-down lettering, which fans as well as media members were quick to catch Thursday.
The design prompted Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin to apologize on behalf of the university. Stricklin said he was unaware of the warmups' phrasing before this afternoon.
(1/3)This afternoon it came to my attention that a shirt provided to our baseball team by adidas has an inappropriate phrase written on it …— Scott Stricklin (@ScottStricklin) April 16, 2015
(2/3) … This is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the standards and values of Mississippi State University or its athletic dept …— Scott Stricklin (@ScottStricklin) April 16, 2015
(3/3) … For anyone who was offended by this shirt, as I was, please accept our apologies and rest assured that this has been rectified.— Scott Stricklin (@ScottStricklin) April 16, 2015
Adidas on Thursday night issued a statement to SI.com regarding the jerseys.
"We apologize to Mississippi State, their student-athletes, fans and alumni for this error. The Bulldogs' baselayer graphic today featured old artwork that was never presented to the university. This graphic does not reflect our brand values nor those of Mississippi State. We take full responsibility for this error and wish Mississippi State the best of luck during Super Bulldog Weekend."
The "school up north" refers to Ole Miss, the Bulldogs' in-state rival roughly 100 miles northwest of Mississippi State's Starkville campus.
The jerseys also contain phrases like "Hail State," "Left Field Lounge" and "StarkVegas," according to the Clarion-Ledger. They will not be worn during games, the school told the paper.
Possibly the most surprising aspect of this? There's been no cowbell reference throughout the process. - Will Green
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