September 12, 2012 12:00AM
Pittsburg State University is anticipating making modifications to its tailgating policies following an incident that occurred in a parking lot during last week’s home-opening football game. While most fans and tailgaters acted appropriately and cheered the team on to another victory, some individuals attracted to the event did not.
University police were responding to a report of an altercation, which happened during the game, in the brown parking lot east of the stadium, when they became surrounded by a large crowd. 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.
“There were a large number of people, many of whom were intoxicated, in the area at the time,” said PSU’s Director of University Police, Mike McCracken. “It had the potential to be a dangerous situation but thankfully, with the help of our partners in the city and county, we were able to bring it under control without any guests or officers being injured.”
In light of the incident, university officials expect to announce changes to current tailgating policies, which will most likely result in additional restrictions on the consumption of alcohol. Part of the consideration will include a review of other institutions’ tailgating policies and practices.
“We are extremely disappointed in the conduct of these individuals,” said President Steve Scott.
“There is no place for this type of behavior at Pittsburg State. It is simply unacceptable. We will do what it takes to make certain our students, staff, fans and guests are able to enjoy a safe and family-friendly game-day environment.”
In addition to reviewing tailgating policies, university officials are also making preparations to provide additional security and law enforcement personnel to patrol parking lots and to enforce all relevant policies and laws.
“We’ve always had a great reputation for providing our fans and guests with an outstanding game-day environment,” said Steve Erwin, associate vice president for campus life and auxiliary services. “Unfortunately, at the home-opener we saw an increase in the number of people who had no intention of attending the game but simply took advantage of the situation to behave in an embarrassing manner.”
University officials will release additional details concerning changes to the tailgating policy early next week.