Friday, October 10, 2003
Athletic director urges LSU fans to report bad behavior
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Dozens of people were arrested at LSU's
last home game, and Athletic Director Skip Bertman wants better
behavior at Saturday's game against Florida.
He also wants bad fans reported at once.
"We have asked people to be on the lookout," Bertman said in
an interview. "Use your cell phone. Call the police."
"We're not talking about people yelling 'Tiger Bait!" at
opposing fans, Bertman said.
But anyone who sees any criminal act or "consistent
harassment" of the other team's fans should report it, he said in
his "Cyber-Side Chat" message posted on the LSU athletics Web
site and e-mailed to fans each Thursday.
Bertman said 30 to 35 people were arrested Sept. 20, during the
game against Georgia. He estimated 115,000 people were on the
campus for the game, meaning more than 20,000 couldn't get into the
He listed four of the incidents reported by police:
--A male Georgia fan was hospitalized after the portable toilet
he was in was turned over and he was assaulted as he tried to climb
--A Georgia administrator wearing her school's colors was hit by
--A Georgia couple found a flag they placed on their car burned
and lying in a ditch after the game and their car's hood dented;
--A female Georgia fan reported being subjected to lewd comments.
The number of incidents wasn't unusually high for a sold-out
game, Bertman said.
"Consider that one percent of 115,000 people is over 1,100
people who throw items, curse, are inebriated, obnoxious or
otherwise disruptive, and can make a visit to Tiger Stadium
miserable for our fans or visitors to our campus," he wrote.
"We'll never solve all of our problems. But I implore those who
share LSU's sense of sportsmanship and pride to report to
authorities when you see something amiss," he wrote.
Saturday's game against Florida also is sold out. Bertman said
it's expected that over 100,000 fans will again be on campus for
the 2:30 p.m. kickoff.
LSU will not be taking extra security measures to curb fan
behavior, Bertman said.
Crowd vigilantes are not welcome, either.
"We don't want you to take matters into your own hands," he
wrote. "Sometimes confrontations with other fans can just escalate
the situation. Please call on our police or game marshals for
assistance, whether inside or outside the stadium."
Bertman said he believes LSU fans have an unfairly bad
reputation caused by a small number of troublemakers.
"The number one thing I've heard in three years as athletic
director is 'Can you do something about ...' or 'Listen to what
happened to me at the game ..." Bertman said. "I've heard that
more times than I would like.
"I chose to do something."