Crackdown on dangerous activity in Beaver Stadium to continue

Violators will face criminal, student penalties

University Park, Pa. -- Through championship seasons and hard-fought losses, one constant has remained with Penn State football over the years -- other than Joe Paterno. The reputation of class, loyalty and dignity among its fans continues to be a staple of the program, setting it apart from many other major college football programs.

The University is ensuring that the irresponsible actions of a few do nothing to harm that reputation, or the well-being of other fans in Beaver Stadium.

For the past several seasons, University Police have stepped up security in the part of the stadium where complaints have been the heaviest -- the student section -- while maintaining a presence throughout the stands to help keep fans safe and secure. One of their primary duties is to keep a watchful eye out for any dangerous and illegal activity by fans.

"The number of incidents among 106,000 or more fans grows smaller each year, which is a good sign, but it still takes the actions of just one irresponsible fan to cause serious injury to someone simply out to enjoy an afternoon of football," said Bill Mahon, assistant vice president for University Relations. "That's the type of activity that we want to aggressively police and remove from the overall Penn State football experience."

Individuals observed engaging in dangerous or disruptive activity -- for example, throwing objects at people in the stadium, on the playing field or causing a disturbance -- will be subject to immediate removal from the stadium and criminal charges. Additionally, Penn State students will be referred to the University's Office of Judicial Affairs.

"It's important for Penn State students and all fans to hold each other accountable for maintaining the standards of our community and upholding our long-standing reputation as a civil and respectful student body," said Vicky Triponey, vice president for Student Affairs. "The Penn State Alma Mater implores 'May no act of ours bring shame.' We want our fans to be enthusiastic and supportive, but we also want them to be safe and courteous to those around them."

Beyond facing arrest and possible student sanctions, those found in violation of University policy or visitor guidelines will lose the right to attend any future games. For students caught engaging in this type of activity, the penalty could be a ban from buying tickets to a Penn State game until after graduation, among other possible sanctions from the University.

At one home game in 2002, 35 students were ejected from the stadium. Since that time, police have cracked down on offenders and helped create a safer and more positive environment for fans to support the Nittany Lions.

"During the past couple of years, we've had relatively little dangerous or disruptive activity in the student section, and almost no throwing of objects," said Steve Shelow, director of University Police. "Police officers and ushers will continue to identify anyone throwing objects in the stadium, and those individuals will be subject to ejection and a disorderly conduct citation, along with referral to the University's Office of Judicial Affairs. Dangerous behavior has no place in Beaver Stadium, and our goal is to keep this from ever becoming common practice again."

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Last Updated March 19, 2009