A.C.C. Champs?

The Atlantic Coast Conference is a pretty mighty college sports division. Duke and Carolina win more than their share of N.C.A.A. basketball championships, and the N.B.A. is lousy with former A.C.C. players. (I suspect that Carolina players make better pros than Duke players, but that’s a topic for another day.) In 2006, Carolina’s women’s soccer team won its 18th national title.

So with all these champs to honor, what do you think is the most sought-after shirt among A.C.C. fans?

I was in Raleigh recently and found the answer in an airport A.C.C. gear shop:

Duke Shirts

The clerk told me the Duke lacrosse shirt was his best seller. I wonder how that could be. True, Duke’s lacrosse team won the A.C.C. title last year, but perhaps other factors are at play?


From the slate article referenced in 18 above: "One of them is Ryan McFadyen, the player who wrote an e-mail the night of the alleged assault detailing his fantasy to invite some more strippers over and then kill and skin them." If that isn't misogynist, I don't know what is.

I generally think you're misunderstanding my position on all of this, roper. I completely agree that everyone deserves the protection of civil liberties, and I think what happened to those kids is crappy. I just don't think that means everyone should go out and buy their T-shirt.


In repsonse to #2 from AaronS, I belive that Clemson Rules, FSU drools.


The Duke lacrosse jersey has been a very popular Halloween costume the last few years.

Pup, MD

The perfect gift for the misogynist who has everything!


I can't support this with any scientific evidence, but I think human beings have a natural tendency to loathe injustice when it is identified. The vast majority of folks who are familiar with the Duke LAX case probably regard what happened as a gross perversion of justice; to purchase and don a t-shirt is a cheap, passive means to register one's dissatisfaction with what happened.


I find this highly suspicious. Why? Because everyone knows that the most exalted, most glorious, most powerful, and most wonderful tradition of all is that of the FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES football team!

Sounds to me like this is some plot to attempt to steal the thunder of the most important college football team in history (or the future).



The Duke Lacrosse team rape scandal comes to mind.


I think this might be another case of "Bad Typo Dept."
"the N.B.A. is lousy with former A.C.C. players"

I'm pretty sure you are using the slang of 'lousy with' to mean the NBA is well-stocked with ACC players, but my initial read was the the NBA has been negligent or poor in developing ACC players.

As for Duke I think it proves even poor national media coverage is GOOD national media coverage. (Although in this case the negative coverage turned was poorly founded and turned the team into martryrs for media attention and due process gone bad).

S. Heaton

There are two segments of consumer here:
(a) People who want to bask in the scandal and wear the shirt out of some silly sense of irony
(b) People who feel that the LAX players were not given fair due process and want to show them support.

Since the research triangle has been basking in excellence for years, most people probably already own their "regular" Duke, NC, and NC STATE gear and what you're seeing is a somewhat temporary shock.

Jess Godfrey

Considering two of the five best players in the league (Tim Duncan and Chris Paul) came from an ACC school (my alma mater Wake Forest), I wouldn't be so quick to judge ACC players in the NBA...


People buy them to manipulate what's going on in your head. For every Duke Lacrosse shirt, matter, there is the anti matter, its unseen evil twin, Nifong. Try to think of one without the other. You can't. It's the little guy sticking it to the man, on a shirt, with a subtle grace you achieve when you don't address the evil twin directly. If you were to do so it would all unbalance and both Nifong and Duke Lacrosse would be destroyed.


When Appalachian state beat Michigan it was one of the best selling shirts in Columbus, OH. People love to taunt people when they fail or when they are wrong.

What happened to the 60 minutes piece?


DUH. I'm not surprised a bit. College rivals that would never by a Duke shirt are buying this one. I can tell you, I've never seen a MSU college student wearing a Duke Basketball shirt, but I've sure seen them in a Duke Lacross shirt. Take it how you will, as a joke, as support, as stupid college kids, but this one to me was a no-brainer.
I'm sure the best-seller pre-scandal was basketball.


9 and 10 seem to imply that most of these are purchased to poke fun at Duke, but there are LOTS of these worn around Duke's campus that clearly aren't intended to be sarcastic. It actually really annoys me, but I won't rant here ...


I went ahead and attempted a comparison of NBA success for graduates of both schools, which can be found at http://arbitrarian.wordpress.com/2008/01/28/duke-v-unc/
It looks like UNC comes out ahead, but I've listed how other schools fare in comparison, as well, and some of the other top NBA feeder schools may surprise you.


I agree with TimS...Clemson remains the jewel in the crown of the ACC

Big 10 Graduate

I'm guessing the use of the term "lousy" in this case means something along the lines "profoundly infested with, as if by lice". It's a recognition of the vast amount of ACC players in the NBA. I'm also guessing that our high schools are not lousy with ACC grads teaching English.

Carolina Blue

I went to Carolina, and still live in the area. I don't see too many people around here that wear the Duke Lacrosse shirts, but I do travel a lot, and have been amazed at how many I have seen on my travels (perhaps the only people buying them are tourists?). Most people wearing them will tell you the reason why, something along the lines of, "I feel so bad for what those boys went through, and I'm just showing my support for them." I always feel surprised when I hear such a thing. Sure, you support your team and your school, you wear their shirt, but supporting individual people that went through a rape accusation by wearing a shirt? Seems a bit weird to me.


The social background of Lacrosse players, maybe?

I knew nothing about it, so I googled it:


Otto Said, "I think human beings have a natural tendency to loathe injustice when it is identified ... to purchase and don a t-shirt is a cheap, passive means to register one's dissatisfaction with what happened."

See, I think this is the prevailing logic behind these shirts, and it really bugs me. There is so much legitimate injustice in this country that is ignored every day. To make a special effort to "register one's dissatisfaction" with the mistreatment of an admittedly innocent, but also rather racist and misogynist group of privileged college kids simply seems wrong. I'd like to see a comparison of the sales of "Duke Lacrosse" and "Jena Six" T-shirts; I can't imagine sales are at all similar in Durham, and I'd be surprised if they were close nationwide.