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COLLEGE PARK, Md. Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson sent an e-mail to the University of Maryland student body last night, urging the fans that "the type of aggressive and offensive behavior" displayed at the Miami game Sept. 5 is unacceptable.
The warning came following an e-mail received by Anderson, head coach Randy Edsall and University President Wallace D. Loh from a fan who brought his son to the season opener and was digusted with the crude behavior of the Maryland student section.
The e-mail, pasted into the notice to the students, detailed fans waving "F*** the U" signs and engaging in a deafening "F*** MIAMI" chant. The parent also said his son was taunted, yelled at and nearly hit after accidentally cheering for the Hurricanes by mistake.
"The type of aggressive and offensive behavior described below paints the University, our teams and every o ne of us in a bad light and it is not what this world class institution is about," Anderson's e-mail read. "Is this who you really want to be and I s this the impression you want the nation to have of us?"
The parent indicated to Anderson, Edsall and Loh that attending the Maryland-Miami game was a birthday gift for his son, who turned 11-years-old just four days prior. The family was from York, Pa., about two hours away from the University of Maryland campus and within 30 minutes of Edsall's hometown in Glenn Rock.
On Tuesday afternoon, at his weekly press conference, Edsall acknowledged being disappointed with the fan conduct during his head coaching debut, and encouraged fans to show up and provide a homefield advantage, though with better discretion.
"Everybody has to come and enjoy themsevles," Edsall said. "They just have to understand there's people there and you really don't need the vulgar language, and you can still be a factor in terms of helping our guys and helping our team along to a victory. Everybody just has to understand where they are and they have to be careful about how they act.
The incident comes almost precisely a year after Loh, then the University's president-in-waiting, criticized students for their behavior at the Maryland-Navy game in Baltimore to start the 2010 season. Fans' conduct was deemed "simply not acceptible" after howling negative chants against the U.S. naval cadets.
Afterwards, Loh said the chants caught the attention of university officials.
"It reflects so poorly on the University of Maryland when these cadets march in and profanity is yelled by the students.
Maryland student-fans have often been condemned for their questionable conduct and expletive-loaded chants, though.
The school has a history of rioting after basketball victories over Duke, the most recent coming in March of 2010 when 28 people were arrested. In March, GQ Magazine ranked Terps hoops fans the fifth-worst sports fans in America, citing five riots in the past decade.
The next home football game will take place Saturday against West Virginia. The Terps face the No. 18 team in the nation, and will look to their homefield advantage for an edge.
To be a passionate fan, says linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield, it doesn't require vulgarity or obscene gestures; you can be supportive without it.
"As students we got to control ourselves, tame ourselves, just have fun. You can do it without all the profanity…I definitely want everybody to be supportive, and you can be supportive and not be profane."