In case you don’t read or watch basketball, Dayton won a pretty big basketball game over the weekend to make their first Sweet 16 appearance in 30 years. Following the massive victory over Syracuse, students flooded to “the ghetto” (as they lovingly refer to that part of campus) and had a massive celebration that included a burning couch and, allegedly, a little bit of tear gas.
And what did Dayton President Dan Curran do? Well of course he immediately released the riot cops to disperse the crowd and promised to punish all that wer… wait. He was there? Taking pictures and CROWD SURFING WITH THE HOOLIGANS?! He must be fired!
Of course he shouldn’t be fired but, based on the witch hunt MSU’s beloved Lou Anna K. Simon conducted following the “riots” in Cedar Village after the Big Ten Football Championship, he should have chastised these kids immediately rather than enabling the celebration.
Usually, based on the comments on some articles, the belief is that these kids are delinquents and should behave themselves and its just sports and GET OFF MY LAWN AND TURN DOWN THAT DAMN HIPPITY HOP. Alright these people aren’t completely wrong and that crotchety but this belief that because its “just sports” or 18-22 year-olds should know better is ridiculous. This is college, and more directly, this is college sports. Sports bring out a passion in people that is matched in few other areas. Soccer matches in other countries are essentially riots. If you’re not allowed to have fun following a victory then what’s the point?
Are Dayton kids different that, according to my buddy, cops were used to PROTECT students while they celebrated in the street for three hours or so? Is there something in the water in Ohio that makes them more trustworthy to party responsibly? Or maybe it’s just the difference between the Catholic kids at Dayton and the rejects at the public Michigan State. If only we all took theology we could be more trusted with celebrating in the streets.
It could be the famous burning couches of MSU. Now this kind of holds some weight because that is pretty dangerous but when are we going to reach the point of “been there, done that?” This applies to students and administrators alike. Students, if we wait a little while before we set things on fire we can celebrate longer. Let’s save the couch burning for the grand finale rather than the pregame. Administrators; you’ve seen couches burning before. Nobody got hurt. Somebody not named MSU, East Lansing or Lou Anna K. Simon is going to pay for the couch. Can we stop acting like a couch burning is some kind of hate crime?
Here’s all I’m asking, instead of thinking worst case scenario when a group of students gathers to celebrate a victory, can’t we let a community celebrate an accomplishment for a little bit before we break out the billy clubs and riot helmets? Despite the movies, I promise most college kids aren’t about to start looting and burning buildings because of a sports win. The moment those true hooligans light stuff on fire, do what you have to do. But maybe first you could just crowd surf a little.
(Here’s President Simon’s love letter to Michigan State students before the Rose Bowl in case you didn’t think her reaction was insanity)