Friday, March 26, 2010 to close Wednesday as settlement talks continue with KU, Kansas Athletics

Larry Sinks, owner of, is pictured in front of his store Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008. Sinks has been in and out of the news because of his legal battles with Kansas University over licensing issues involving his t-shirts.

Larry Sinks, owner of, is pictured in front of his store Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008. Sinks has been in and out of the news because of his legal battles with Kansas University over licensing issues involving his t-shirts.

Advertisement, a T-shirt business whose unlicensed merchandise has riled officials at Kansas Athletics Inc. and Kansas University, will close Wednesday.

Local t-shirt shop to close

Joe College, which has been to court with KU Athletics regarding the legality of some of its shirts, will close on Wednesday.

Joe-College owner Larry Sinks confirmed Friday that both the store at 734 Mass. and its online operation would be out of business at the end of this month.

He declined to discuss reasons for the closure, referring questions to his attorney, Jim Tilley, who also declined to provide details.

Tilley did say that settlement negotiations were ongoing with Kansas Athletics and KU regarding legal matters.

"We have no comment on that," said Jim Marchiony, an associate athletics director.

Kansas Athletics and KU sued Sinks and Joe-College in federal court, securing a judgment in July 2008 that prevents Joe-College from producing and selling certain shirts deemed to violate KU’s licensed colors, phrases and other items that could cause confusion in the retail marketplace. Among the offending shirts was one with the words “Kansas Swim Team,” and an illustration of sperm cells.

As part of that case Joe-College retained permission to print other shirts — “Kansas Drinking Team,” “Muck Fizzou” and “Hawk Star” among them — but was ordered to pay Kansas Athletics $127,000 in damages, plus at least $667,000 in attorney’s fees.

Joe-College has appealed various components in the case, including the amount of legal fees owed. This past September, after learning that he would be responsible for paying such fees, Sinks said that he wasn’t sure what effect the decision would have on his business.

“I don’t have it (the money), I can tell you that,” he said at the time.


bayareajhawk 12 years, 3 months ago

Lew Perkins last seen laughing maniacally into his martini...

hometownhawk 12 years, 3 months ago

OH NO!!! Does this mean KU fans won't be able to buy stupid shirts that lack cleverness but make up for it in prophanity?!?! The town and the university may never recover.

FreddyinLA 12 years, 3 months ago

I alway made it a point to stop into Joe College when I get back for a game. I picked up a Mangino Wingman shirt a couple weeks before he was sent packing.

They have signs all over the place stating their merchandise is unlicensed. The subject matter of the shirts would be another good indication the university was not consulted on the designs. My personal favorite has a man holding a sheep and makes a reference to Missouri, but I can't quite remember what it says.

My only beef would be they made references to current players in theirs shirts. They should do the right thing and save the exploitation of players to the university.

yovoy 12 years, 3 months ago

i hear the sound of marching boots.

this guy owes the u nothing, but he should be a gentleman, and offer them 1 american dollar for their legal fees. when he reopens in the fall, he should transfer ownership of the business to a minor.

lafred, GREAT point about "exploitation".

Phaedrus Cj 12 years, 3 months ago

Great day for Marchiony!

It is interesting that many people suggest that Perkins and Marchiony deserve credit for the success of some KU athletics programs.

If so, then why aren't Perkins and Marchioney responsible for the ticket situation?

Seems like Perkins and Marchiony are getting a pass when they are more directly responsible for that function than they are for the success on the court and field.

Tyler Fox 12 years, 3 months ago

Signs on the walls of the stores don't follow the shirts out of the door and into the public where they make the KU fans wearing them look ignorant and ridiculous. Most of the shirts in there were good and fun, but his insistence on putting controversial shirts on the shelf after the University warned him many times is what got him in trouble and ultimately ended in the lawsuit.

SC0VILLE 12 years, 3 months ago

So many classless shirts have come from this store that I'm actually glad it's closing.

I'm all for small business being successful, but these shirts made so many KU fans look like a bunch of d-bags. Sure a lot of them are, but I'd rather it not be advertised.

Martin Rosenblum 12 years, 3 months ago

I've only bought one shirt from them. It's the one that quotes Roy Williams saying "...I don't give a sh*t about North Carolina" Couldn't help myself. I've never worn it and will keep it for posterity, unless somebody offers me a goodly sum for it (any offers?). Otherwise, there are too many other places to buy merchandise that is licensed by KU. I think the world will not be a worse place without Joe-College.

Tim Orel 12 years, 3 months ago

Bought my sister a shirt with John Brown on it and the slogan about protecting Kansas, America from Missouri since 1861. That is my favorite I've seen from there.

gchawk 12 years, 3 months ago

Kansas....... Birthplace of North Carolina basketball. Gotta love that one.

Don Everett 12 years, 3 months ago

MUCK FIZZOU is the best hands down. As far as all you goody two shoes out there, too damn bad. It's just like TV or radio or whatever else, if you don't like it, go watch, listen or read something else somewhere else. The moral majority needs to get ahold of themselves. If you can't stand up in public to the crap that is controling this nation, compared to something this trivial, them keep your pie holes shut.

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