Here’s what the UConn Daily Campus had to say editorially about the police’s response to UConn students rushing the field Saturday:
Shame on you, UConn
By Meghan Bard and Jen Pinsonneault
This could have been one of the greatest moments for UConn students. This could have been one of the greatest moments in UConn athletics. This could have been one of the greatest moments in all of UConn history. But it was not. UConn routed Kent State in the final game at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon. It should have been a day for celebration with 50 years of football on the Storrs campus coming to an end. The perfect way to close the day’s ceremony would have included watching the students triumphantly carry the field’s goal posts down Fairfield Way. However, this was far from the case.
It is tradition for students to rush the field and tear down the goal posts after the final game is played in a stadium. Saturday, with two minutes remaining in the 4th quarter of the game, hundreds of students, spectators and alumni began to gather at the fences surrounding the field. Unfortunately, as the crowd grew, so did the police presence, along with their attack dogs. In what should have been a moment of pure greatness, the UConn police, armed with tear gas and dogs, prevented the crowd from getting within 10 feet of the goal posts.
We were there. We gathered by the sidelines, waited anxiously for the clock to run out and we jumped the fences with our fellow students to chants of “team work!” We were met by people on whom the importance of the occasion was lost. Moments of student support for the UConn football team have been few and far between, and yet Saturday one of the greatest shows of support was quelled.
Two years ago, when the men’s basketball team defeated Arizona in one of the most outstanding collegiate basketball games ever played in Gampel Pavilion, students were allowed to rush the court and celebrate with their team. That image is embedded in the mind of every true UConn fan. It has been reshown by our athletic department and university time and time again. Saturday there was the opportunity to create that moment with the football team and that was taken away from the students and team alike.
The crowd pouring onto the field was not unruly or riotous, they, we were merely excited. Who present felt the appropriate response to this celebration was pepper spray and attack dogs? Certainly not the students or the people in the crowd. Where was the athletic department? Where was Lew Perkins? And more importantly, where was the support for the Husky football fans Saturday afternoon? Why would the administration not support their students in a positive display of UConn spirit, a display of husky PRIDE. What should have been a shining moment to carry UConn football into not only a new stadium, but a new era, was lost.
Maybe a better question is where was Randy Edsall? The reason the rushing of the court following UConn’s win over Arizona was successful two years ago, was because Jim Calhoun understood the importance of his student fans. He supported the students’ right to rush. So where were you, Randy, while the police were gassing the cheering students? Jim Calhoun would never have allowed that to happen. Shame on you, Randy Edsall. Shame on you, Lew Perkins. Shame on you, UConn athletic department. We, as students, are disappointed in all of you for not backing up your student fans. But most importantly, shame on the UConn police, for your overzealous attempts to control a problem which did not exist. For the only problem in Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon was the police. While we would never dare to compare the events of Saturday with what happened in Ohio in 1970, we cannot over look the bitter irony of the fact that we were playing Kent State.
Saturday afternoon, the stands filled with cheering fans, the marching band playing our fight song and a great victory on a beautiful November day, the memories of that afternoon will be forever tarnished by the actions of police in the end zones. But you forget, this is a college campus, our college campus. That’s our football team, our stadium and those are our goal posts, and we wanted to take them down. We wanted to send our football team to their new home with the proper pomp and circumstance. Shame on those who did not allow this to happen. Shame on everyone who seems to forget what the point of a college football game is, what a college university is. You are supposed to be here for us, the students, not for your perfect public relations. So shame on you, and may you remember this next year when those stands in East Hartford are not filled with students.
I can certainly sympathize. L.A. Coliseum police and L.A.P.D. cops acted in a similarly revolting fashion last year when USC fans tried to rush the field after the Trojans’ historic 27-0 win over UCLA. (Although, in that case, students were actually beaten on the field. Then again, this is L.A.) Universities do not seem to understand that stopping students from having innocent fun is generally more trouble than it’s worth. It’s more likely that someone is going to get hurt by police — especially in a confrontation between drunk students and frustrated cops — than that someone is going to get hurt in a freak accident involving a goal post or a fellow student.
Undoubtedly, the primary motive behind universities’ overzealous “protection” of their students in these situations is the fear of liability if a student does get hurt by freak accident involving a goal post or whatever. (Liability, after all, is the motive for pretty much everything in our society. But that’s another commentary for another day.) But if something happens to a dumb student who parties too hard, that’s the student’s fault — whereas if police attack dozens or hundreds of students in an attempt to keep them “safe,” any injuries that occur are the university’s fault. For liability’s sake, universities should put up signs and make public-address announcements stating repeatedly and clearly that students are discouraged from rushing the field, and that anyone does so is proceeding at his or her own risk. And then they should leave the students alone… or at least refrain from beating and spraying them.
Here, by the way, is the Daily Campus’s news story about the incident…
Police pepper spray students
By Chris Gillon
Police used pepper spray to repel fans trying to the tear down the goalposts at the end of the UConn/Kent State football game Saturday. One student was arrested in the incident.
Police charged Kier Yerachmiel Kailas, 18, of Ballston Spa, N.Y., with interfering with an officer, 2nd-degree rioting and breach of peace. Kailas was processed and released.
Hundreds of students gathered near the sidelines in the final minutes of the game, which UConn won, 63-21. UConn and Connecticut State Police positioned officers in the four corners of the field, armed with pepper spray. At two corners, officers had two K-9 units to deter the crowd from approaching the goalposts.
With seconds to play, police moved to the areas behind the goalposts. The clock hit zero and fans began to take to the field cautiously. Police then moved into the end zones and established a line, which they told fans not to cross.
When fans attempted to rush the south goalpost, police discharged pepper spray to repel them.
Kailas ran to the goalpost from which he was removed by police and handcuffed. A press release states that Kailas attempted to incite the fans to cross a line the police had established for students not to cross. His bond was set at $2,500.
A separate press release issued by the police defends the decision to disallow the fans from taking down the goalposts.
“No historical concern for tradition at the university would outweigh the concern for such injury or death to any bystander who happened to be victim to such an accident,” the statement said.
Our cable and phone service (by which I mean, Becky’s cable and phone service) are back up, so I can post to this website like normal again.
Here’s a link to an article about USC’s blowout win over the Farm. So now it’s down to four games: Arizona State at USC (Nov. 16), USC at UCLA (Nov. 23), Washington at Washington State (Nov. 23), and Washington State at UCLA (Dec. 7). For the Trojans to win the Pac-10 championship, USC must win both and Washington State must lose both. (It sort of reminds me of the situation for Democrats at around 10:00 PM Pacific time on Election Night, when three Senate races — South Dakota, Minnesota, and Missouri — were still up for grabs, and the Dems needed all three to keep the Senate. Hopefully things will work out a little better this time.)
In other news, Arizona State lost to Cal, 55-38, eliminating themselves from Pac-10 title contention. The only teams left with a mathematical chance to win the conference, aside from the front-running Cougars (6-0), are USC (5-1) and, oddly enough, UCLA (5-2). But there’s no need to think too hard about the Bruins’ championship-winning scenario, because the Trojans are going to kick their butts in two weeks.
(For the record: If Washington beats Washington State in the “Apple Cup” in two weeks, the Bruins can win the conference by defeating USC and Washington State, who happen to be their last two opponents. The Apple Cup is on the same day as the USC-UCLA game, so it will be the one thing that USC and UCLA fans will agree on that day: both will be fervently rooting for Washington. Unless, of course, USC loses to Arizona State next week, in which case the Trojans will be eliminated anyway and the Cougars’ fate won’t matter to us anymore; some USC fans might then root for Washington State just to spite the Bruins, though I’d root for Washington for Dave’s sake. But that’s a moot point, because we’re totally beating Arizona State next week. It’s Homecoming, and it also has the special significance of being the first USC home game in which I will be able to buy beer.)
USC 49, Stanford 17. Meanwhile, our phone and cable are out due to storm.
Washington State remained undefeated in the Pac-10 today, beating the Oregon Ducks 32-21 and dealing a major blow to USC’s Rose Bowl hopes. In order to win the conference and go to the Rose Bowl, the Trojans now must win their last three games — against Stanford today, Arizona State next week and UCLA in two weeks — and hope that Washington State will lose its last two, against Washington in two weeks and UCLA in four weeks.
This means several things. First, my ex-roommate Dave and I most definitely have common cause in the Washington-Washington State “Apple Cup” in two weeks. (Bow down to Washington!!!) Second, if USC still manages to make it into the Rose Bowl, the earliest we could possibly know it would be Dec. 7, which would complicate my winter-break flight plans rather severely. Finally, and most depressingly, the Trojans’ Rose Bowl hopes now firmly rest on the shoulders of our archrivals, the UCLA Bruins.
There is another scenario whereby the Trojans could reach the Rose Bowl without a bunch of Cougar losses. With so many undefeated teams losing across the country, including #1 Oklahoma today, it is not totally out of the question that if Washington State wins all the rest of its games, the Cougars could move up the BCS standings enough to get bumped up, out of the Rose Bowl and into the national-championship Fiesta Bowl. In that case, if USC wins all the rest of its games (including on Thanksgiving Saturday against Notre Dame), we might be invited to Rose Bowl in the Cougars’ place, even as the Pac-10’s second-place team. That’s unlikely, however, so Trojan fans would do well to keep rooting for the Cougars’ opponents. But in case that fails, it wouldn’t hurt to root against Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas, too. :)
In other news, UConn students had a random riot today. Go Connecticut!
Oh, and while we’re on the topic of football in Connecticut, the Newington High School football team sadly lost yesterday to Platt, 46-26, ruining the Indians’ chance of their first winning season since I was in middle school. Newington is now 3-6 with two games to go. But hopefully they can still win their first Thanksgiving game in years against Wethersfield (1-6-1).
I already knew that I got a 167 on the LSATs — now I know why. My corrected answers and detailed score information arrived at my parents’ house in Newington today. My dad e-mailed me a full report.
The Logic Games section was by far my weakest, as I knew all along. But those foolish games didn’t totally tear me apart — I actually did a little better than I expected. I had estimated immediately afterward that “at best, I got maybe 12 out of the 24 questions right,” but in reality, I got 13 right. So I was 13-for-24 on that section, and (here’s the good part) 72-for-76 on other three sections, for a total of 85-for-100 overall, which translates to a 167, the 96th percentile.
Now, on to more important things: football! USC’s game against Stanford doesn’t kick off until 4:00 PM Pacific time, but the Trojans’ Rose Bowl hopes are very much on the line right now as Oregon battles Washington State. Even if USC wins all three of our remaining games, we need Washington State to lose two of their final three in order for us to win the Pac-10. So far, so good: the Ducks just took a 14-10 lead. Go, Oregon, go!
UPDATE, 1:56 PM: Dammit, Washington State just took back the lead, 17-14. Well, it’s early yet. (4:37 left in the first half.) C’mon, Ducks! Quack! Quack! Quack!
UPDATE, 2:40 PM: Ducks score! 21-17 Oregon, 14 minutes left in the third quarter.
UPDATE, 3:41 PM: D’oh!!!!!!! Washington State, having narrowed the lead to 21-20 just before the end of the third quarter, just scored two touchdowns in about five minutes (the second one on a bizarre near-interception tip-turned-catch), and the Cougars are now solidly in the driver’s seat, 32-21. (They failed to convert a two-point conversion the first time, and had the extra-point blocked the second time, hence the odd score.) The Trojans are now counting on a mighty Duck comeback. Less than eight minutes to go, two touchdowns (or a field goal and a touchdown-plus-two-points) needed. GO DUCKS! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!
UPDATE, 3:58 PM: Dropped passes, bad blocking, missed field goals… doesn’t look good for the Ducks (or the Trojans). Washington State 32, Oregon 21, 3:07 to go.
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9 — Mayor Jim Hahn, the entire City Council, and thousands of rich white people evacuated the Los Angeles area Friday as water falling from the sky continued to soak the normally dry city.
“Head for the hills!” the mayor was heard to cry as he jumped into his limosine and fled to the Inland Empire.
Angelinos have been profoundly confused since Thursday, when the unfamiliar substance that experts call “rain” began to fall on the city. On Friday, as the “rain” refused to relent, confusion began to turn into panic.
Customers invaded supermarkets throughout the city to stock up on essential supplies such as food, water, and mascara, fearing a total shutdown of commerce (and a fashion nightmare!) if the deluge continues. Some residents turned to their leftover Y2K supply kits, but found that the cookies were “kinda stale” and the bread “a little moldy.” Still others rushed to ATMs to withdraw cash, but many decided they couldn’t afford the $1.50 surcharge and returned home frightened and penniless.
Meanwhile, on the soaked streets of downtown, street preachers proclaimed that the apocalypse was at hand. “First, Georgia elects a Republican governor, and now this,” said one alleged prophet. “The end of the world is upon us!”
Many workers took the preachers’ message to heart and stayed home from work Friday to spend the end times with family and loved ones. There was no resultant let-up in freeway traffic, however, because those who went to work drove an average of 3 miles per hour, and almost all of them were in the left lane.
Meanwhile, hours after City Hall was vacated, former mayor and failed gubernatorial candidate Richard Riordan marched in and declared, “I’m in charge here.” A few minutes later, he proclaimed himself Emperor of Los Angeles and took the title Richard I. “Eat this, Bill Simon,” he said, and made an obscene gesture.
Taking over for the absentee government is “the least I can do for the city I love,” said Richard I, who noted that the L.A. Empire is “way better than” the Inland Empire, which, he said, “isn’t really an empire anyway.”
Empire or not, Los Angeles — which is built entirely of concrete, and thus cannot absorb any water into the ground — could be underwater by the end of the weekend if the “rain” continues.
“We’ll deal with that,” Riordan said. “We’ll make Mother Nature an offer she don’t refuse.” He refused to elaborate, though he was later heard to mumble something about Janet Reno, two chihuahuas and a monkey. It was unclear whether there was a connection.
In other news, fears of rioting and opportunistic looting in South Central, Compton and other areas did not materialize because the rioters and looters didn’t want to get wet, sources said.
Also, despite the mass exodus of government officials and rich white people, the portion of the city’s population that relies on Metropolitan Transit Authority buses for transportation was reportedly unable to flee because the bus was late.