USC‘s bookstore threw down the gauntlet with its “Roll Tears” T-shirt in advance of Saturday’s epic clash with Alabama. It’s the first time these two iconic programs have played since 1985, so it’s not surprising to see not only schools, but fans cash in on the opportunity to sell some trash-talking-tees.
AL.com uncovered the backstory behind these shocking T-shirts, first made available at TeePublic.com, which are definitely not associated with the University of Alabama. The crimson shirt features the Alabama state outline, a helmet with No. 88 and “Our O.J. Only Killed Clemson” written across the front.
While the No. 88 is a reference is for Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, he is only “our O.J.” in this turn of phrase. The reference is meant as an anti-USC dig at the Trojans former Heisman Trophy-winning running back O.J. Simpson.
Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), Alabama and Clemson have all requested that the shirt be removed.
“The University of Alabama initiated the request to remove the shirt, and the request was supported by Clemson, since it’s marks were being used without license or approval,” Tammy Purves, senior director of communications and creative services told AL.com. “While both universities often support rivalry and game-day designs in good fun, neither university approves of merchandise with distasteful messaging.”
Howard had the biggest game of his college career against the Tigers in the national title game, racking up 208 yards and two touchdowns on just five catches on his way to Offensive MVP honors.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Alabama fans fire back at USC with O.J. Simpson-inspired, anti-Trojan shirt