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Opening Arguments

Going BALListic

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.


Larry Morris
Wed, 09/10/2008 - 7:55am

Not much of a comment here - people change, I certainly have since High School. I even tried to get in touch with Wendy a few years ago to see if we were going to have a class reunion, but no luck, either my message didn't get passed on or I wasn't really a friend back then. Who knows, ...

Wed, 09/10/2008 - 7:59am

When I was helping with the headlines for our high school paper, we got in trouble for a sports round up entitled "Red Devils Cream Trojans; Scalp Indians."

Mitch Harper
Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:19am

Uh, Leo, I'm unsure what Dr. Wendy Robinson has to do with this. She is the Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent, not the Northwest Community Schools.

Ms. Neumeyer is the principal of Carroll High School - part of NWACS.

Leo Morris
Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:28am

Oops. My bad. I read "one Fort Wayne high school" and let my imagination get the best of me.

William Larsen
Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:53am

Well if the NWAC is going to get that stringent, then they need to revise their dress code.

In their dress code that is published, they state a dress shall be at least a minimum of 3 inches above the knee. This means dress that is only 2.9 inches above the knee has to be hiked up to at least 3 inches.

Do they also sensor the books, literature that is taught in class? How many words have double meanings?

Jim Wetzel
Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:59am

"Do they also sensor the books, literature that is taught in class? How many words have double meanings?"

I don't know how many words have double meanings, but I guess "sensor" must be one of them.

Wed, 09/10/2008 - 8:28pm

Can it have a double meaning if it isn't spelled the same?