Abusive Fans Spit at BYU Players at CSU Game

I was outraged to read <b>Richard Warner's</b> account about some supposed "fans" at the Colorado State game who cursed and spit on our players and coaches as they exited the field at half-time. If they are "BYU fans," we need to raise the bar. The riff raff can spoil things for everyone else.

"I had the opportunity to talk to my son this weekend and he told me that as the team left the field at half time on Thursday, fans were not only verbally abusing them but also spitting on them. I truly believe this is unacceptable behavior by anyone for any reason. Yes, the team looked terrible last Thursday, and yes, it wasn't a lot of fun to watch, but the team deserves our support.

"I don't have any problem with people criticizing, but to spit and swear at coaches and team members is unacceptable behavior. Those fans that act like that need to find a new team to follow, like Utah. On another note, Chris loves BYU and loves Coach Crowton. He says he is a GREAT coach, in all aspects of the game. My son has been around a lot of coaches in his life and he knows good coaches and bad coaches and he says Coach Crowton is great and that is good enough for me.

"I do hope that the team learns how to execute in the game soon so we have a little more to cheer for in the future. I believe they will. Chris also told me what Coach Crowton told the team in the locker room after the game and I can tell you it made me so proud Chris decided to give up scholarships to go to BYU and play for Coach Crowton. In his time since arriving at BYU, Chris has had an up close and personal look at Coach Crowton, and he thinks Coach Crowton is a wonderful coach and person and that is good enough for me. I will support him; the program and I have confidence that whatever the problem is with the team right now, Coach Crowton will be able to solve it."

Richard Warner

The question: how do we raise the bar? It's a free country. Anyone with the admission price can get into a game at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Even riff raff.

Someone mentioned that one of the more vocal "spitters" took time to call someone on his cell phone and brag about all of this. That tells us the "spitter" likes attention. That leads to a second question, that may actually be the first question phrased another way: What sort of attention should other BYU fans who attend the game and are nearby, give to the "spitter" and other punks like him? I'm open for suggestions.

My impression is the "spitter" feels like some kind of "big shot" who "really told off the players and the coaches." He probably is still bragging about it. I believe one of the problems here is the "big shot" is really a "little shot," a pathetic person with no class and not much of a life. Several other TBS message board posters have used the word "coward" to describe this kind of punk. He is the sort who feels real big while shouting insults and obscenities from a distance, but who would wet his pants if he had to face the target of his affection in a closed room.

Since that is not possible or advisable for a number of reasons, I'm wondering if there is a way that ordinary BYU fans can show these kind of abusive punks that it is not a "risk-free" activity to curse or spit at Cougar players while leaving or entering LES.

Naturally, one choice is to alert Campus Police if these "little shots" decide to seek attention this way, to again glorify their pathetic lives at the players' or coaches' expense. The problem is there are only so many Campus Police officers, and they may not reach the exact spot until too late. What can they do about it anyway? I suppose they are authorized to throw someone out for disorderly conduct.

If a "little shot" is doing this for the attention anyway, getting thrown out of LES would just give him more attention. He may have been planning to leave anyway, and LES was just a big stage for his dramatic exit in the thrilling saga of "facing off" (from a distance) against the players and coaches.

The last thing is this should never be directed at players or coaches at LES again. Imagine a short-tempered Cougar player or several jumping into the stands to demonstrate the "laying on of hands" on a "spitter." This would only amplify the problem and must not happen. The players and coaches need to concentrate on the game.

I'm sorely tempted to suggest some physical remedies against punks like this, but that would only place other fans as legal risk. However, I don't believe punks like this can be reasoned with. Another language may be needed. I'm glad that some fans shouted back at these punks, but in a way, that is a "risk free" interchange for the punks who believe their words have significance.

For my part, I hope that Mr. Warner will tell his son Chris, a BYU gridiron player, that virtually all BYU fans are outraged at this kind of abuse of any college player or coach at LES – whether ours or the other team's.

We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our student athletes and coaches.

There needs to be a way for BYU fans to deal with abusive behavior by such riff raff. The problem is that the riff raff speak and understand a different language. If fans can come up with a reasonable way to deal with this – which attaches an immediate cost to the abuser – it may help deter such conduct in the future. I wouldn't want to take one of my children or friends to LES, and have them hear or see such language. I certainly don't want the players or coaches of either team to be exposed to it. Not in our stadium.

Nebraska is known to have an outstanding and loyal group of fans (in good and bad times). When an outstanding Washington team beat Nebraska in Lincoln years ago, the Husky players were astounded when the Nebraska fans stood and applauded the Huskies for an outstanding, hard fought game as the Husky players left the field. I wonder how those fans would handle abusive behavior like this?

Suggestions?

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