can you imagine if they proposed doing the same thing with handguns in west virginia?

The University of West Virginia was embarrassed earlier this year when a student wearing a T-shirt that said “West [expletive deleted] Virginia” appeared briefly during a live broadcast of a football game. Of course, what can they do, they are a public university? Apparently they can’t even legally stop people from wearing the t-shirts to the game. So, instead, they have instituted a buyback program where students who have the shirt can exchange it for $20, “no questions asked.”

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

5 thoughts on “can you imagine if they proposed doing the same thing with handguns in west virginia?”

    1. Tina, as of this year West Virginia is one of the few schools that sells beer at the stadium. No word on whether anyone has tried taking off their shirt during the second half to exchange it for more beer…yet.


  1. I first became acquainted with that shirt a few years ago when a sole fan proudly walked through a crowded Ithaca mall wearing it. WVU played at Syracuse that day, and I guess he needed to pick up supplies and militantly break folkways in honor of his football team on his way home.

    Norms researchers might know the best way to curtail use of that shirt. Luck’s sanctioning might strengthen the resolve of the fans who were militant/crazy enough to wear the shirt in the first place. Tina’s probably right to exploit the irrationality of consumers; $20 of beer would probably garner more trades than $20 of cash.

    There’s also arbitrage opportunities here:


  2. Also, I just saw this story about West Virginia’s next home game:

    “Morgantown fire officials are trying to prevent the spectacle of nationally televised street fires after a big football game Saturday night by ordering hundreds of people to remove furniture and other flammable materials from their properties.”

    So much for the traditional couch burning after a big win.


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