Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Get Karl Benson to a nunnery

Heck, the Utah State fans weren't even anywhere close to that of the fans of their fellow Aggies down Las Cruces way and their "nice shot a--hole" but Commisar Karl Benson has still interceded.

I believe it was the late Dorothy Parker who coined the phrase "if you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me" -- she would have been persona non-grata at WAC games but, then again, what would she have had to say about basketball itself?

Parker also offered this: "Those who have mastered etiquette, who are entirely, impeccably right, would seem to arrive at a point of exquisite dullness."

Touche Karl Benson.

Chant outlawed in Spectrum
Shawn Harrison
Logan Herald Journal
January 15, 2008

When the Utah State men’s basketball team took on New Mexico State last Saturday, there was something different about the students.

They turned out in force with most wearing blue and were as loud as ever, but one of their chants had been shelved. “You Suck” can no longer be used at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

The students had used it when a visiting player was called for a foul or after an Aggie opponent made a free throw, adding “still” between the previously mentioned two words.

The Western Athletic Conference has ruled that particular chant is offensive. When the doors opened an hour before tip-off, students rushed to get the best seats in the general admission student sections. They were greeted by a blue note on each chair.

It informed them: “That chants or cheers that contain obscene, vulgar, offensive or threatening language will result in a technical foul on the home team. Please be aware that the ‘You Suck’ cheer is considered offensive according to the WAC and USU will be in jeopardy of a technical foul.” USU’s Scott Randall, who works for the Aggie athletics department in game management, was also on hand to talk with the students as they arrived.

The Aggie students complied with the blue note, but some were not happy about it. Several signs indicated that their First Amendment rights were being violated by the WAC.

“They say it is freedom of speech, but it isn’t in the arena,” USU athletics director Randy Spetman said. “They have a right to come in to the game, but you have to abide by the sportsmanship rules in there.”

Following the Hawaii game at the Spectrum, a WAC referee told Randall the “You Suck” chant could be translated as offensive. Spetman decided to call the league office and inquire. The head of WAC officials called it “borderline,” Spetman said. Spetman then went to WAC commissioner Karl Benson.

“His (Benson) staff called back and determined the chant was outside the guidelines of sportsmanship,” Spetman said. “That we needed to take action to have the students change.” Go here for the remainder.

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