Despite a student’s hospitalization and subsequent surgery last Saturday, officials don’t yet have any definitive plans to discontinue using a T-shirt cannon at Razorbacks football games going forward. The chancellor, though, remains hopeful usage of the launcher can continue if safe.
University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart told 5NEWS on Thursday that the athletic department is examining the situation and weighing the safety concerns following a malfunction that resulted in a student’s injury. A decision to discontinue the launcher could be made at some point in the future, if the athletic department chooses, he said.
Gearhart did not say whether the continued usage of the T-shirt cannon would extend to this Saturday’s game, or whether the university would wait until afterward to bring the T-shirt launcher back.
The university’s athletic department released a statement earlier this week, saying the T-shirt cannon was banned from being used at Saturday’s upcoming Razorbacks game against Samford at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
“The T-shirt launcher will not be used for this Saturday’s football game, and a decision regarding any further use will be made in the future,” the news release states.
Arkansas officials said last Saturday that an intern in the school’s marketing department was hospitalized after a T-shirt air cannon malfunctioned at Razorback Stadium. The intern was treated and released from a local hospital following surgery, according to the university.
“He’s going to be all right,” Gearhart said.
During the incident, the cannon exploded for some reason and injured the man’s leg, authorities said.
The launcher that misfired was the single-shot gun that uses pressurized air from a tank to propel T-shirts into the crowd at various sporting events. The university also has a Gatling-style air gun that can rapidly fire multiple shirts.