AD Mike Alden ejects The Antlers
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- An unsanctioned University of Missouri student fan group was kicked out of a second straight game over what school officials call a pattern of inappropriate chants.
Members of The Antlers were ejected from Mizzou Arena early in the second half of Missouri's 78-64 win over IUPUI, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Tuesday. The ejections came after the group was escorted out of the arena by campus police before tipoff of Saturday's home game against Gardner-Webb.
Many fans booed loudly as the ousted students departed mid-game Monday, again with a campus police escort. Missouri forward Tony Criswell even gave high-fives to several of The Antlers.
Athletic director Mike Alden told reporters later that the students violated the school's core values, which include respect and responsibility.
"This is actually laughable to me, but let me just say this: We have high expectations for our students and our staff at the University of Missouri," Alden said. "Our core values are respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence, and it's critically important that we represent those values every day in everything we do.
"We just want to make sure that folks are representing the institution with class."
The Antlers' leader -- referred to as the grand poobah -- met last week with university leaders, including the vice chancellor for student affairs.
Among the objectionable chants cited by Missouri during that meeting: "Raise your hand if you thought Hurricane Katrina was a good thing," which was shouted during an opponent's free throw in the season opener against Southeastern Louisiana. Other chants were sexually suggestive or homophobic, the school said.
"The things on that list, some of them are pretty rough, and it's regrettable that it's said," said grand poobah Emmett DeLaney, a junior business major from Festus, Mo. "But I myself am proactively trying to put that to an end, and that's in the past of the group. Saturday, I feel like we did a great job of avoiding those kinds of things."
The ZouCrew is the school-sanctioned student cheering section, but the Antlers have been at Mizzou games 1976.
DeLaney said he and his friends were kicked out Monday over a sexually suggestive chant that's been in use for at least a decade. The chant includes a pelvic thrust and an act of groping "the guy's shoulder you're next to," DeLaney said.
"Then they booted us right after that, and while we were down there, they said references to sexual content won't be tolerated inside the arena," he said.
DeLaney said the group has no interest in being asked to leave a third straight game. Missouri's next home game is Dec. 5 versus West Virginia.
"At this point, I don't think we're trying to push the line," he said. "I think we're trying to find out where it is."
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press