The illegal, dangerous and destructive behavior of a small number of students and fans following athletic wins and losses must stop. Otherwise, more arrests, jail time, fines and expulsions will follow, say West Virginia University and Morgantown officials.
As WVU President Jim Clements said in his State of the University address Monday (Oct. 8), the post-game behavior Saturday night was “completely unacceptable, dangerous and inexcusable and we cannot and will not tolerate it.” He noted that WVU is taking immediate action to initiate disciplinary proceedings against those students charged with malicious burning, disorderly conduct and other illegal acts, and will add more surveillance cameras, a stronger security presence and will strengthen disciplinary policies, among other measures.
Mayor Jim Manilla echoed those sentiments, saying: “The City of Morgantown will also be taking additional steps to make our town a safer and more civil place. There’s a difference between celebrating and having fun, and if we haven’t been clear about that, consider this a final warning: This City and the University will not tolerate it any longer. We won’t stand for that type of behavior here.”
Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston, WVU Chief of Police Bob Roberts, WVU Dean of Students Corey Farris, Morgantown Fire Chief Mark Caravasos, City Manager Terrance Moore and others gathered Tuesday to nail down short-term plans and to discuss other longer term solutions to the fires and celebratory riots that have plagued the town for years.
And, while the specific tactics aren’t being revealed, it’s clear “we mean business … it’s a full court press,” said Chief Preston. “It’s clearly a safety issue, and it is also affecting our City’s and the University’s fine reputation, and we simply won’t tolerate it.”
Farris added: “We want to be known as a University and a community that celebrates in a responsible and appropriate manner, not the opposite as is the case now.”
WVU Student Government Association President Zach Redding had this to say: “I was very happy to hear that our fans were excited about our win Saturday against Texas. Having won a BCS bowl game in three out of the last seven years, our fans should know how to act after a big win. With that said, I am incredibly disappointed in the behavior of some individuals, showing no class, sportsmanship or respect for authority. We are a top class institution, academically and athletically, and we need to show it.”
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