Fed Ex has made a major last-second push to earn entry into the 2013-14 Least Cool Person Tournament. That's really the only explanation possible for doing something like throwing away Russ Smith's Final Four jersey.
Russ was given the jersey in a frame during his Senior Day ceremony this March, and without hesitation chose to give it to his father so that he could hang it in his New York barber shop. Big Russ then had the jersey shipped by Fed Ex because it was too big to fit on a plane, but when it arrived in New York, the glass and frame were broken.
Here's when things got really bad/super sketchy.
That didn't stop Big Russ from hanging it on the wall while he filed a claim with Fed Ex to replace the frame.
Fed Ex agreed to pay, but told Big Russ the claims department had to inspect the damage first.
"I said do I have to send the jersey back? They said yes, you have to send it back," he said.
All the way back to the Louisville packing facility where it was originally shipped which is where the unthinkable happened. The jersey got thrown away.
"The employee had marked it to discard yes," said Erin Truxal, the manager of public relations for Fed Ex Ground.
Truxal said for safety reasons it's company policy to toss out any returned boxes with broken glass without opening them to see what's inside.
"You know I don't have the specific whereabouts," Truxal said of where the jersey ended up.
Yeahhh, that's not an okay mistake.
As you might expect, neither Russ is thrilled.
I want to personally thank Fed Ex for deliberately throwing away my National Championship Jersey & compensating it by saying "Sorry".— Russ Smith (@Russdiculous_2) May 9, 2014
Words really can't explain how upset I am. Billion dollar company, they throw away something I worked hard in & they only say "sorry".— Russ Smith (@Russdiculous_2) May 10, 2014
Like I said life isn't fair. Sometimes people n major corporations take for granted how much the little things mean and only say "sorry".— Russ Smith (@Russdiculous_2) May 10, 2014
@FedEx you are incredible. I am getting on a flight from Vegas to Louisville to graduate tomorrow & you guys have ruined that for me.— Russ Smith (@Russdiculous_2) May 10, 2014
As for the theory that someone stole the jersey for their own profit, local businessman Jonathan Blue has offered $3,000, no questions asked, to anyone who returns the jersey to his office.
Here's hoping this gets resolved...or Fed Ex may be squaring off against USA Today (or Digger Phelps) very soon.