A few things: 1) I’m a graduate of Ball State University, 2) I’m a product of Central High School, which also produced Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson, and 3) Wendy and my younger brother Larry were Central contemporaries, friends even, which means I probably know more about her than she wishes I did. So I feel uniquely qualified to say: Good God almighty, could you please back off and show a little common sense?
The familiar “Ball U” T-shirt seen almost everywhere on campus as normal attire for university pride is getting a different reception at one Fort Wayne high school.
Andra Kosmoski’s son, Evan, wore a “Ball U” shirt to school last week that his mom bought him at the T.I.S. bookstore in Fort Wayne. When he got home from school, Kosmoski said, she received a call from him saying he was told he had to change the shirt.
“That upset me because of me being from Ball State,” Kosmoski, a 1988 Ball State University graduate, said.
Principal Deb Neumeyer, Assistant Principal Sam DiPrimio and Assistant Principal Park Ginder said it was part of the school’s dress code and had been for a long time. They said the dress code included restrictions against wearing any T-shirt with a double meaning.
“Our staff and students can wear BSU attire, but that [“Ball U” shirt] with double meaning they have to change,” Neumeyer said.
“Ball U” is a part of Hoosier lore. I don’t know if David Letterman has ever touched on it, but he should have. I feel compelled here to tell a Ball State story I heard often on campus. It may be apocryphal, but it’s funny anyway. The story is that the Ball brothers — creators of glass canning jars, university benefactors, Muncie heroes — presided over a ceremony at which a Ball State president had his portrait placed on the wall where it belonged. The headline in the student newspaper, the story goes, was “University president hung by Balls.” Surely that’s worth at least a chuckle, Wendy.