PSU student group recalls T-shirts mocking Pryor

Published 2:41 am Friday, November 6, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor is a “cryer” no more to a Penn State student group.

The Penn State Marketing Association has pulled T-shirts mocking the dual-threat sophomore that were to be sold for this weekend’s game between the No. 15 Buckeyes (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) and the No. 11 Nittany Lions (8-1, 4-1).

The white shirt depicted the Nittany Lion mascot with one arm around Pryor and the other holding a box of tissues. Pryor is drawn in uniform reaching for a tissue.

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Below the drawing was the phrase, “The Nutcracker — a Terrelle Cryer Story.”

Penn State’s student newspaper, The Daily Collegian, wrote about the shirt on Tuesday. The design was apparently based on a photograph of a dejected-looking Pryor sitting on the bench with his head in his hands during the Nittany Lions’ 13-6 win last year at Columbus. Pryor’s fourth-quarter fumble had set up Penn State’s go-ahead score.

Asked about the shirt this week in Columbus, Pryor took the mocking in stride.

“They made a T-shirt. It’s not a big deal. It’s all fun,” he said.

But the marketing group has had a change of heart.

“We did not intend for this shirt to offend Terrelle Pryor, The Ohio State University, or Penn State Athletics, and we apologize for any offense it caused,” Daniel Sturman, the marketing association’s chief executive officer said in a statement e-mailed Thursday announcing that the shirts were being recalled.

He declined additional comment Thursday to The Associated Press. Sturman told other media outlets Wednesday his group had received criticism about the shirts.

“We share in Penn State’s commitment to a strong tradition of sportsmanship, honor, and integrity, and understand that this shirt design does not align with these values,” he said in the statement.