NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Steve Ostergren, owner of “Scarlet Fever,” a store on Rutgers University’s campus, produced a shirt to raise money for paralyzed football player Eric LeGrand.
The shirts are stamped with LeGrand’s No. 52 on the front and the Rutgers team mantra, “Keep Chopping” on the back.
Ostergren said he is covering the shirt’s production, with all proceeds going to a to-be-determined fund Rutgers plans to set up for LeGrand, a junior defensive tackle who was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle on a kickoff return against Army last Saturday.
“I don’t know Eric personally or the family but as a fan, it’s like, ‘this guy is battling so we can go cheer our team on’,” said Ostergren, a Scarlet Knights mascot when he attended the school in the mid-1980s. “He put all that on the line for us. So, it’s the least we can do.”
Red shirts are $15 and white shirts $10. Ostergren said plans are also in the works to create a shirt stamped with the word, “Believe,” which has become the team’s rallying cry in the wake of LeGrand’s injury. When the Scarlet Knights (4-2, 1-0 Big East) play at Pittsburgh (3-3, 1-0) Saturday, “Believe” will be stamped on the front of their helmets.
The shirts went on sale Thursday afternoon. By 5 p.m., Ostergren said they were going out the door by the dozens.
“It speaks volumes about the Rutgers fan base,” he said, “and how much they care about Eric that it’s already creating this kind of buzz.”
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.