Thursday, October 23, 2008

About time someone stands up for the MWC

And it was our own Lyle Lanley who did it!

TCU latest to expose BCS flaws Texas Football


Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb,
Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb,

Mid-season all-conference team


Morning Dump

Youngsters are getting job done at TCU Star-Telegram

TCU looks to finish this year WFAA

TCU hoping to avoid letdown ESPN

TCU's Patterson banishes some 3-letter words Deseret Morning News

A 1 loss team from a non-BCS conference in the BCS Fox Sports

This Week's Opponent

Revenge isn't factor for Gipsons Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Cowboy's receiving corps dwindles due to injuries Jackson Hole Star-Tribune

Addressing MWC Crowd Control

...was lax TCU supporting freedom of expression, or condoning religious insensitivity? Also, is it the end of the "UNLV Invitational?"
October 22nd, 2008 @ 5:02pm
In the aftermath of BYU's setback at TCU, the Mountain West Conference may be asked to re-address a conference recommendation that should probably become league policy.

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In all but two conference football venues, the main student seating section and/or band seating is located in areas other than behind the visiting team bench. This practice is in accordance with a league recommendation. At New Mexico and TCU, however, the students and/or band sections are directly behind the visiting bench, and at TCU last week, a situation developed that could have easily gotten out of hand.

Approaching halftime, members of the band entered the BYU team area, going so far as to "get in the face" of BYU players, positioning themselves amidst the BYU players and taunting them. BYU's requests to have the stadium personnel and police control the band were denied. "It's their stadium, they can do what they want," BYU officials were told, in essence. BYU Football personnel moved the players away from the benches and toward the sideline to head off what appeared to be imminent confrontations.

During the TCU game, some of the students in the seating section directly behind the BYU team bench displayed signs denigrating the LDS Church. The signs were offensive enough to attract the attention of BYU administrators, who asked stadium personnel to remove the signs. Those requests were denied. In the second half, a high-ranking BYU Athletics administrator then went into the stands himself and took one of the signs away from a student. A police officer threatened the BYU administrator with arrest if he did not return the sign to the student. The BYU administrator gave the sign to the officer, but would not return the sign to the student.

Throughout the evening, BYU officials contacted TCU Athletics officials about assisting with the crowd control issues, to no avail.

As a side note, while I have to admit that I have not seen the TV broadcast of the game (I welcome confirmation from those who saw the game on TV), I am told that Versus cameras showed the anti-LDS signs on at least one and possibly two occasions. If a random crowd shot inadvertently shows an offensive sign, that's easily understood. If the cameraman/production personnel intentionally or repeatedly showed such signs, that's irresponsible behavior. Again, if it was a passing shot that was quickly taken off the screen, the network is not at fault, so I don't want to condemn the TV folks if they were not to be blamed (note: I have heard from many readers who think the "sign shots" were quick and not intentionally-directed).

Crowd control issues aside (and TCU would appear to be guilty of a laissez-faire approach, at best), the implicit support of religious intolerance is also an issue that should be addressed. The fact that a religiously-sanctioned institution such as TCU would be involved adds to the unsavory nature of the incidents last week.

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As impressive a showing as it was for TCU on the football field last week, the game result would have been an afterthought had an incident erupted on the BYU sideline.

The league should act to ensure that responsible crowd control practices are legislated as necessary, and in at least one venue, the necessity appears evident.

-KSL5 Cougar Tracks By Greg Wrubell
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