Friday, February 22, 2008

UCLA Hoping Not To Repeat Oregon's Poor Behavior

Check out the link below from the LA Daily News. It appears as though UCLA is trying to make sure the Bruins student section doesn't try to replicate some of the jeers tossed out by their Oregon counterparts.

When I worked this season's UCLA/Oregon basketball game at Mac Court in Eugene, I witnessed some of the worst student behavior in my career. Some of the things the students were saying about home-state hero Kevin Love and his family were flat out despicable.

Maybe I'm old school, but I've never liked the idea of chastising opposing players and coaches. It's one thing to openly root for your team, but trying to ridicule your opponent simply because you can embarrasses your fan base in my opinion. As is often the case in sports arenas around the world, the actions of a few Oregon students cast a bad light on the entire Pit Crew.

In fact, the last time I worked a game at Mac Court, I spoke to some of the students and we talked about their treatment of Love and his family. Some of them actually admitted that in retrospect, some of the taunts probably went too far. I sensed genuine remorse. The last thing these students would want to do is to bring shame to their beloved Ducks. Now, don't get me wrong. If Love stays at UCLA for another season and returns to Eugene next year, they will be all over him again, but I very seriously doubt it will be to the level it was this season.

I will give credit though to both the University of Oregon and the PAC-10 for quickly responding to the students poor behavior. There's only so much either can do to quell such lack of decorum, but at least they are trying. Making a statement that such behavior will not be tolerated should go along way in curtailing future examples of tasteless taunting.


Scott said...

As a member of the pit crew, we admittedly did go too far, but as always it was the vocal minority of that game that was heard. A few drunk and loud fans started these chants and got heated students to follow suit.

If you have been to any games since, which I believe you have, you would have noticed that the behavior has completely changed. In fact against Washington, the fans showered equally hated Ryan Appleby with love.

While I do believe that heckling is and always will be a part of sports and helps to keep rivalries heated, resorting to profanity is a line that should never be crossed.

Scott said...

As a member of the Pit Crew, I can tell you that the pit crew has turned around its behavior over the past in every game since the UCLA game, and that the antics of that game do not represent us as a whole. In fact, Washington's equally hated Ryan Appleby was showered with love when he played at the pit last week.

Michael Eaves said...

As I stated in my post, the last time I was there I genuinely sensed remorse from some of the students. However, I should have also stated that their behavior was much better than it was during the UCLA game, but it couldn't have gotten much worse anyway.

I'm glad to see that the students recognize that sometimes taunting can go too far. Mac Court is by far one of the best venues in all of college basketball, and it would be a shame if the actions of just a few students make people forget that.