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Friday News Overload

Jenna Johnson

Edgy shirts
Joe College is a t-shirt shop near the University of Kansas where you can buy t-shirts that probably would not be allowed in college bookstores. The royal blue shirts proclaim things like "Friends don't let friends go to school in Missouri," "Better off dead than red! Nebraska sucks!" and lots of things my editors won't let me publish.

For years the controversial shop has been in a legal battle with the university's athletic department, which thinks it should get a cut of the profits if its trademark is being used. In 2008, a jury ruled that Joe College had to stop selling 53 of its more than 200 designs and pay the university $127,000, The Lawrence Journal-World reports. Last year a judge added another $550,000 to the store's bill to cover legal fees. Joe College has filed an appeal but it might not be heard for another year. In late January, students hosted a concert to help Joe College raise money for its legal expenses, The University Daily Kansan reports.

This week, Joe College got in trouble again when a group of bloggers took offense to one of the store's new designs, which takes aim at Kansas State men's basketball coach Frank Martin. The shirt that features a guy mowing grass in a Cats hat and reads "Frank Martin mows my lawn." Martin is Cuban. The shop quickly pulled the shirts after selling just two, The Kansas State Collegian reports. "Not remotely funny," Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock wrote of the shirts this week. "The T-shirt is a bigoted stereotype. The equivalent would be a T-shirt that proclaimed 'Turner Gill shines my shoes.'"

Diversity in Texas
The University of Texas created an African and African-American studies department, which could be the first of its kind in the state, The Daily Texan reports. School administrators say they hope the program helps them attract more black students and enrich the intellectual diversity on campus. "In the past, the University has not been known for its friendliness towards blacks," Edmund T. Gordon, director of the Department of Anthropology, told the student newspaper. "Times are changing. This department is a sign of that change."

Hurricane backlash
An internationally know hurricane expert who lost his job at Louisiana State University last year is suing the school to get his job back. Ivor van Heerden claims he was fired because he criticized the federal government for not protecting the city from flooding, The New York Times reports.

Dorm life
At Vanderbilt, some dorm dwellers have to haul their laundry great distances, Inside Vandy reports.

Sugar rush
Energy drinks like Monster, Red Bull and Rock Star often have ten times as much caffeine as other beverages and can cause "caffeine intoxication," which gets even worse if you add actual alcohol, The Villanovan reports. The story's headline pretty much sums everything up: "Red Bull gives you...a) tremors b) anxiety c) insomnia d) all the above"

Graduation watch
The University of Michigan and Hampton University in Virginia scored big with their commencement speaker: President Obama.

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By Jenna Johnson  |  February 12, 2010; 8:48 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags: Hampton, Kansas State, Louisiana State, University of Kansas, University of Michigan, University of Texas, Vanderbilt, Villanova  
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