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Jockstrap Hazing (protecting the future assets of college fraternities)


Jockstrap Fan
In an era which ended decades ago, many fraternities required their pledges to spend long hours, if not days in tight jockstraps, simply to assure they remained uncomfortable. It was not unusual for fraternities to require pledges to wear a "pledge uniform" while in the fraternity house. While some fraternities required pledges to be attired in designated color blazers, shirts and ties, many others prescribed something more akin to a PE uniform, with white t-shirts and gym shorts stenciled PLEDGE in big black letters, often accompanied with the fraternity Greek letters.

It was what was required worn under the shorts that probably evokes some interest to members of this website. Some fraternities required that jocks and CUPS be worn at at all times while in pledge uniform. While it was claimed that the purpose of requiring cups be worn was to "protect the future assets of the fraternity" during pledge "athletics" and other activities, the main reason was that the old flat triangular cups in that era were always uncomfortable, and this was simply a harmless hazing technique to assure that pledges stayed miserable.

I'll qualify my comments that I am not relating a personal experience, as my fraternity was not a "jock house". Nevertheless I do recall seeing pledges from other fraternities entering and leaving the PE locker room wearing jocks often displaying the fraternity shield and cups firmly snapped into the jock pockets. Sometimes they were prohibited from showering after a vigorous freshmen PE physical training class session.

One of the larger fraternities on campus required their pledges to carry a large black marble inside the cup to remind them that they could be "blackballed" at any time, by any active, for any reason, or no reason at all. They were nicknamed in Greektown as "Three Ballers".

Fast forward about a decade, after I quit teaching and coaching and was driving the highways and byways selling "stuff" to institutional and wholesale markets.
I could always rely on an order from a "Trophy/Jewelry" store in a college town which carried mainly Greek stuff, i.e. paddles and mugs adorned with fraternity and sorority regalia. The merchant did not sell sporting goods other than some fraternity logo gym shorts and sweat pants. Regardless, in mid-summer I could always count on his order of about 10 dozen Bike Cup Supporter Units (jocks and cups), and a similar number of white Yale gym shorts. I am aware that the garments were then labeled, and no doubt sold to pledges at high prices no doubt splitting the profits between the store and the frat beer funds. The quantity ordered suggested that three or even four different campus fraternities insisted on keeping their pledges "protected"