According to China Daily, the incident has sparked a heated online debate as to whether the Swoosh-adorned sneakers were proof that the student was financially well-off and thus ineligible to receive support. The unnamed student argued that the sneakers — priced at approximately $70 — were a gift from his mother, who had saved money for months and managed to score the shoes at a 60 percent discount.
The article goes on to explain that the student’s mother says she bought them because she knew her son liked to play basketball and she hoped that replacing his worn-out sneakers would make him happy.
Locals had mixed opinions on the university’s decision. “I agree with the college taking away the student’s financial support because these stipends are scarce and should only be given to those who need them most,” said one graduate.
“Everybody has desires, so the poor young man should not be criticized for wanting a pair of decent shoes. That’s not fair. Neither should his mother be blamed for making efforts to fulfill her child’s wishes,” argued a resident with a 15-year-old daughter of her own. “What’s more, the student should not be deprived of financial support because in essence he’s still a young man who needs financial assistance.”