Old Navy gets an F: Universities' founding dates are wrong

— -- IOWA CITY -- Hawkeye fans should look twice before snagging a gold University of Iowa women's T-shirt at national clothing retailer Old Navy.

The shirt lists U of I's founding year as 1820, even though the university was founded in 1847, a year after Iowa became a state.

The V-neck shirt sports the word "Hawks" running diagonally across a shield. Beneath the coat of arms logo, it reads "Iowa" and "1820."

One online commenter gave the design a thumbs up but said the factual error trumped the shirt's attractive looks. "I thought this University of Iowa shirt was really cute when I saw it in the store today, but didn't buy it because it says 1820 on the bottom," the person wrote.

The comment from "hawkfan" was posted Oct. 29. As of Wednesday, the T-shirt was still available on Old Navy's website.

Other Old Navy shirts with similar errors include those featuring the University of Colorado (the Colorado State Archives says 1871; Old Navy says 1878) and the University of Arizona (the University of Arizona Libraries says 1885 vs. Old Navy's 1881). The shirts, including those with the mistakes, sell for $16.

In a statement, Old Navy apologized for the misprint:

"At Old Navy, we strive to provide our customers with the highest quality products, and we apologize for the misprint in this line of college graphic Ts. We're confident they will be moved from our shelves very soon."

University officials who reviewed the T-shirt pointed out the error to the licensee, Tailgate Clothing Co. of Ankeny, Iowa, U of I spokesman Tom Moore said.

The company, which notified Old Navy of the error, told university officials the problem would be fixed before production. Because of an oversight, the change was not made, Moore said.

The university received $27,289.46 in royalties from Tailgate during fiscal year 2011, officials said. The University of Iowa licenses its name and logo for a 10 percent royalty fee.