T-shirts land student in NYC jail

T-shirts calling for the firing of an unpopular professional basketball coach landed a Geneseo student in hot water over Winter Break.

Geneseo senior Ivan Cash was arrested in Manhattan on Jan. 2 and charged with vending without a license with intent to sell T-shirts critical of New York Knicks' head coach and General Manager Isiah Thomas.

Before the Knicks' 107-97 loss to the Sacramento Kings, Cash was waiting outside of the Knicks' home arena, Madison Square Garden, for his vendor who had a license to sell the shirts. As soon as he arrived outside the Garden to meet his vendor, Cash was approached by police officers who then took him to the Midtown South precinct. He was released, but not until after the game ended.

Cash felt that Madison Square Garden officials may have facilitated his arrest, which was covered in the New York Daily News.

"I'm 99 percent sure the Garden set it up," Cash said. "They had their agenda, and within minutes I was handcuffed."

According to Cash, he asked one of the officers who arrested him and one at the precinct if Garden officials had set up the arrest. According to Cash, the officer who made the arrest denied the accusation, but the other told Cash that the Garden was involved.

"As soon as I got to jail the cops saw the shirt and started laughing," Cash said. Attempts to contact both the Midtown South precinct and Madison Square Garden were unsuccessful.

The game on Jan. 2 was not Cash's first attempt at selling the shirts this season.

"I had been there three times in the past with the same vendor," he said. "Cops would look at his license and be OK with it."

Cash said he always had at least one other friend with him while selling the shirts, in addition to his vendor.

Senior Chris Tripodi helped sell shirts during the Dec. 23 game against the Los Angeles Lakers. "I didn't think it was anything illegal at all," said Tripodi. "Overall, it was a fun experience."

Cash and his shirts, which bear the slogan "Don't hate the player or the game / Hate the coach," have been mentioned by many New York media outlets. He also was interviewed on sports radio station WFAN days after his arrest.

He has sold approximately 150 shirts at a price of 20 dollars per shirt. The shirts are available online at www.hatethecoach.com.