If you’ve seen the ads in the Daily, you know the administration is a little worried about the “R” word. Yes, that’s right: rioting. A story in today’s University Record describes efforts by the university to reign in drunken crowd behavior at football and hockey games, but gets to the point with refreshing honesty at the end: don’t riot. I’m not sure what to think: unless they know something I don’t, I think the likelihood of an MSU-style riot is low at Michigan. I see their initiative as part of a larger agenda of trying to create a polished image of the university through the control of students behavior and the polite tolerance of student activists. Perhaps they’re just emboldened by their success cracking down on the Naked Mile and Hash Bash.
… “One of the issues that we’re trying to get our hands around in college football is the sportsmanship issue,” Carr said at an Aug. 25 press conference. His statement is the basis for a campus ad campaign. Print ads appear on University buses and in the residence halls, with plans to use additional media to spread the word across campus. “It is a vital issue; we’ve taken great pride at Michigan that our fans conduct themselves in a way that made all of us proud. We want Michigan to continue to be a place that is hospitable to everyone.” …
In August, the Big Ten enacted a series of crowd control initiatives to address fan behavior and improve security for visiting teams and officials.
“For more than 100 years, the Big Ten Conference has focused on fairness and sportsmanship, and we want everyone involved with our competitions to uphold these values,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany says. “Our message is simple, Respect the Game.'”
Stevenson says the Big Ten took action, in part, because of rioting and fan behavior in Columbus following last year’s football game between U-M and Ohio State.
U-M officials hope their efforts ensure civility and sportsmanship Nov. 22 when Ohio State plays at Michigan Stadium. The game represents the 100th anniversary of the football rivalry between the two schools.”
> From U Record: “Student affairs, athletics work to improve sportsmanship”