‘Simply unacceptable’ [VIDEO]
Tailgate party turns violent
Val Vita | Managing Editor
While the Gorillas were fighting Central Oklahoma’s on the gridiron last Saturday, some fans were fighting each other in the parking lot.
The fights between tailgaters are preoccupying the community and have school administrators considering game day alcohol policies.
Joe Allen says he was at the tailgate with some friends, when he saw one of the fights start after a verbal argument.
Allen says he saw four people fighting one-on-one, but several others were throwing random punches, trying to get a hit in.
“I feel like the only reason they were really fighting was because they were all drunk and over excited for the first home game,” Allen said. “They were all super pumped up and most of them have been there since at least 2 p.m., so they had been drinking for a while. When you get that many drunk people in one place, fights will happen.”
Alessandra Lima says she saw a man jump out of a car into the middle of the brawl. She says there was more than one fight.
“I saw three fights in a row. They stopped, and then they continued,” said Lima, junior in international business. “It was a lot of people. I had to jump into a truck because I was afraid.”
Guilherme Pirri says he was at the tailgate, when several small fights broke out.
“There were a lot of people holding each other and trying to separate the people who were fighting, and then someone said, ‘The cops are coming,’” said Pirri, exchange student in economics.
Mike McCracken, director of university police and parking services, says they had to call for more officers to control the fights when they saw the crowd.
“We did that because of the number of people,” McCracken said. “It was a large crowd, larger than usual, and they were very excited. And some of them were intoxicated, so that added to the problem.”
McCracken says nobody was injured and no arrests related to the fight were made.
“Since it was after halftime, we told them it was time to shut the party down and we dispersed the crowd,” McCracken said.
McCracken says the police are examining their policies and will decide if they need to make any changes for the next game. He says they may increase security when the university celebrates Family Weekend on Sept. 22.
A press release was emailed to all PSU students on Wednesday, stating that the university is reviewing the tailgating policies, “which will most likely result in additional restrictions on the consumption of alcohol.”
The release stated that because the altercations happened after halftime, “the timing of the incident leads officials to believe that those involved had no interest in attending the game or supporting the Gorilla football team.”
President Steve Scott expressed his concerns in the email sent to students.
“We are extremely disappointed in the conduct of these individuals,” Scott said. “There is no place for this type of behavior at Pittsburg State. It is simply unacceptable.”
On the same night the release was sent, PSU discussed new policies for tailgating. Steve Erwin, associate vice president for campus life and auxiliary services, says the university is worried about what happened and he says changes will be made. However, he says, they are focused on maintaining the tailgating atmosphere, something PSU is known for.
“We are thinking about at what point alcohol needs to stop; if it’s 30 minutes before the kickoff or at kickoff,” Erwin said.
University officials will release the decisions concerning changes to the tailgating policy early next week.