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Monday, November 20, 2006

When is a riot not a riot? When OSU President Karen Holbrook says it's not

After Ohio State defeated Texas in September, violence broke out on the OSU campus. Some 35-40 fires were set in student neighborhoods, 17 people were arrested, five on arson, and two cars caught fired when a nearby trash bin was set ablaze.

The mini-riot made national news in USA TODAY and ESPN and marred the OSU victory over the Longhorns. The incident also gave another black-eye to the school due to the poor behavior of its fans, a reputation already sullied when Ohio State President Karen A. Holbrook felt compelled to write an apology to Texas fans for their horrible treatment in Columbus during the 2005 season.

So, did you hear about the violence in Columbus following the Michigan-Ohio State game last Saturday night? Probably not.

Which is just the way Ohio State University President Karen A. Holbrook wants to keep it. In a press release Sunday, Holbrook "praised" Buckeye fans for their behavior after OSU's 42-39 victory over Michigan saying, "Our fans proved they are, indeed, 'The Best Fans in the Land."

She went on to add that, "For the second consecutive Michigan game in Columbus, we have had safe celebrations. While we will continue to look for ways to make additional improvements, we have turned the corner on fan behavior."

But is that really what happened?

That wasn't my experience. Furthermore, according to various news reports, some 40 fires were set, 38 people were arrested, four on arson (after cars, furniture and trashbins were set ablaze) and fans flipped a car over.

Sounds very much like what happened after the Texas game, doesn't it? But rather than take another pounding in the press as they did back in September for more of the same, Holbrook and the folks in Columbus seem to be taking a page out of the Karl Rove playbook in order to try to spin this.


Anonymous said...

I live on 13th an they arrested a kid who set something on fire in front of my house. We cheered when they got him. What a loser.

Again, 200,000 people in the university district according to police and 38 incidents reported. Thats not exactly mayhem!!!! And all of that takes place where there are no Michigan fans (Side streets and past Indianola)

Drink as much kool-aid as you want Um'ers and think your shit doesn't stink. 99.99% don't do any of the things above you listed.

can I borrow some sun tan lotion? It's going to be sunny in Arizona

Anonymous said...

Wow--maybe if you cry about this enough even though it has nothing to do with your city--I mean village the outcome of the game will change...Nope...it didn't.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that rioters in general are idiots. But doesn't this post smack of sore loserism?

Anonymous said...

seriously.. you play in the biggest college game ever, you lose fair and square, and the majority of the blog is devoted to the mean people in columbus and their bad behavior.

man up.

Anonymous said...

A little like Mike Hart's "We could beat them if we played again, even though they tried to hand us the game in the fourth and we still didn't get it done" speech.

Anonymous said...

When are racial quotas not racial quotas? When UofM's President Mary Sue Coleman says their not.

Anonymous said...

1. OSU prez looks a bit like Brutus.

2. Anon 750. 38 arrests or "incidents" or whatever is too many. Surely you've got to appreciate the irony of the OSU prez commending the student body for only flipping over one car, etc.

3. Anons 848,11:48, 11:52. There's a separate post about the game that gives credit where credit is due. This is a separate issue that needs attention. Columbus has a problem that most other college towns don't have, and that none should have.

Anonymous said...

200,000 people in the university district according to police and 38 incidents reported.

Assuming that each incident only involves one person (which is highly unlikely), 0.019% of your fans are involved. So you can't say "99.99% don't do any of the things above you listed." You may say 99.98%, but not 99.99%.

I agree that it's not a riot. Buckeye fans seem to handle the victory in a relatively calm manner. Now, if we can get that number even lower so that you can actually say 99.99% ...

Anonymous said...

1. I wouldn't judge a riot by the arrest count.

2. Regardless of whether it was a "riot" per se, it was still an embarrassment. Any time your couch-fires are in double digits and a car gets overturned, there's something wrong. The most you could really say is that Columbus has calmed down to the level of an East Lansing. Yost is right to call out the prez for her spin.

3. Calling out OSU fans for being anti-Michigan rather than pro-OSU in their cheering is parsing things a little too closely. Sure, "F*&( Michigan" is classless and unimaginative as a cheer, but (a)it doesn't hurt anyone, (b) can you really expect much better from the Bucks? If I can wear UM gear to a game in Columbus without fear of physical harm, I'm more than satisfied. Keep working towards that, OSU.

Anonymous said...

Mike Hart: If we play them again it will be different.

Oh, by the way, Mike Hart is 0-3 against Ohio State.

Anonymous said...

With the possible exception of Karen Holbrook, everyone in Columbus realizes that Karen Holbrook has zero credibility, and the search for her replacement is on. Hope no one was hurt.