Friday, April 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

For many, fan behavior crosses line too often

By
February 12, 2014 | Leave Comment

Public address announcers around the country frequently tell fans before games that unsportsmanlike behavior toward athletes, coaches or officials won’t be tolerated.

Then, once the ball goes up, it is tolerated.

Universities and college conferences have policies to handle fans behaving badly. Administrators don’t want athletes taking matters into their own hands; yet, many players and coaches feel fans routinely cross the line with profanity-laced tirades, racial slurs and obscene gestures while those policies — typically threatening ejection — are rarely enforced.

Oklahoma State All-American guard Marcus Smart is suspended three games for shoving a Texas Tech fan who later apologized for his actions. The incident shows how volatile the interaction between fans and athletes is becoming, especially with the proximity between the two.

“When you sign up to play a sport in college, you sign away whatever freedoms you thought you had coming to college,” Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma said. “You can’t react like a normal human being.

“Someone says something, you can’t react. All of a sudden people, especially adults, say and can do what they want to a college kid on the floor knowing they have no recourse. They have to take it. I don’t agree with that, but that’s the world. Someone pays $20 to watch a basketball game and you can be an idiot.”

Smart’s altercation with Red Raiders fan Jeff Orr happened late in Saturday’s game after he tumbled out of bounds behind the basket after tying to block a shot. After being helped to his feet, Smart quickly turned to confront Orr and shoved him with two hands after it appeared Orr said something to him. Teammates pulled Smart away from the fans.

That same night, Oregon coach Dana Altman expressed concerns about safety after two of his staffers said an Arizona State student spit at them at halftime of the game in Tempe, Ariz. The student had his season tickets revoked, according to the school.

In addition, Ducks guard Jason Calliste had a verbal confrontation with at least one student late in the first half. The proximity between fans and players was at issue again as Altman said it wasn’t a good situation to have visiting teams go past the student section on their way off the court there.

Coach Monty Williams of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans said he has had things thrown at him, while Ohio State coach Thad Matta said he hopes schools will “take more of a precaution because it can get downright brutal.”

“There’s a lot of stuff that goes on in the crowd that shouldn’t go on and players and coaches have to deal with stuff they shouldn’t have to deal with, whether it’s derogatory comments or people throwing food at you,” Williams said. “… I think not just the (NBA), but all of sports, we’ve got to address the crowd interaction with players and coaches because it’s getting out of hand.”

There’s no clear answer to getting it under control, either.

Arenas with 20,000 fans are often staffed by several dozen ushers and an outnumbered security staff, while some teams post signs or make announcements asking fans to police themselves by reporting bad fan behavior.

Many athletes say it’s surprising there aren’t more ugly moments.

“A lot of times you just smile it off,” Syracuse forward C.J. Fair said. “You want to say you shouldn’t lose your cool, but it’s hard when you’re in that moment.”

The NCAA launched efforts in 2009 to improve sportsmanship with its “Respect” campaign, which encourages measures such as ejecting fans displaying unsportsmanlike behavior, using video to record bad behavior and establishing penalties for students or fans to “make fans accountable for what takes place in the stands.”

In an email, NCAA spokesman Christopher Radford said it’s up to member schools to implement the practices, which are being updated.

Leagues such as the Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference have the PA announcer read a pregame message reminding fans to be on good behavior.

Yet in many cases, that’s the extent of enforcement, leaving athletes feeling abused and vulnerable even as they’re expected not to respond to derogatory comments.

“I’ve always been concerned about fans because these are kids, you know,” Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said Monday. “I can see it at a professional game. They’re professionals. They’re being paid to tolerate and listen to abuse.”

Maybe, but NBA all-star Kevin Durant — who played a season at Texas — said that’s still not a license for fans to behave any way they want.

“I just put it like this: if you wouldn’t say that if we were walking down the street, then you should keep that to yourself,” the Oklahoma City star said. “But they get — it’s the heat of the moment for all those guys too watching their teams. But at the same time, we’re all human and words do hurt, and some things should be kept to yourself.”

The close proximity between fans and basketball players adds another variable.

With fans lining the court, athletes often chase loose balls into the stands, putting a potentially frustrated player in physical contact with hecklers. The scenario increases the risk of an altercation.

Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson stood at the scorer’s table during a game at Auburn last year, popping his jersey to taunt students — who responded by making an obscene gesture toward him.

It’s a fragile situation, one that Henderson’s coach Andy Kennedy said athletes and coaches must be prepared to face.

Former Duke star Austin Rivers, currently a guard with the Pelicans and son of NBA coach Doc Rivers, understands probably better than most that some taunting comes with the territory. But he said fans too often cross the line.

“I’ve had people say nasty stuff about my mother, my sister, my girlfriend, my father, stuff about me. I’ve been called all types of names,” Rivers said. “… They’ll say it in front of their kids or their wives. That’s not OK.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

‘Same Time, Next Year’ opens in Benicia

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Man to stand trial in rural Vacaville killing

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 11 Comments | Gallery

‘We Got Next’ Comedy Tour stops at Dimitri’s

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Puppies to take part in Vallejo dog show

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Afisivalu announces run for Fairfield council

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Tonnesen seeks Fairfield City Council seat

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Family matriarch celebrates 100th birthday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Barbecue brings big crowd, progress to Parkway Gardens

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 16 Comments | Gallery

Assist-A-Grad wraps up interviews

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Napa County bridge to close for work

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Town hall on crime set in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 8 Comments

 
Crash shuts I-80 offramp to Highway 12

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 4 Comments | Gallery

Suisun City police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Weather for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Who gained, and what, at Ukraine talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Ukrainian unity on display with peaceful rallies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Putin’s choice of words shed light on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Salmon released in California river restoration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Jury convicts husband in Iraqi woman’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

1 dead, 1 injured in California boating accident

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
BART fined $210,000 for worker deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Military shell prompted evacuation of hundreds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California health care sign-ups exceed projections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

Dirty creek, old purse solve four-decade mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3 1/2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Holder: Hate crimes ‘an affront to who we are’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

Nigeria: Fate of 115 abducted girls unknown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Spate of Mideast virus infections raises concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Samples collected from oil slick not from plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
S. Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Peru volcano prompts evacuation of 4,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

Food brings back fond memories

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Internationally out of touch

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

 
Watch out for grandson scam

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 15 Comments

Why so much spent to find a plane?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My husband tells our sons that they don’t need to listen to me

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B13

 
Horoscopes for April 18, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B13

.

Entertainment

 
Week in preview April 18-24, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Review: ‘Heaven Is for Real’ heartfelt but dull

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lost radio program featuring Hank Williams found

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
‘Real Housewives’ TV star faces battery charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Ill, hospitalized Miley Cyrus postpones more shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Dodgers get to Bumgarner early for win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Badminton update: Rodriguez, Armijo head toward post season

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7 | Gallery

MEL boys roll to easy win over SCAC

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Short-handed SCAC girls ‘gut out’ all-star win over MEL

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Sharks beat Kings 6-3 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Miguel Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Sponsorship woes put Swan Racing future in doubt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Ex-quarterback McNabb spends day in Arizona jail

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Season wrapup: Sacramento Kings’ ‘new era’ off to slow start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Clippers-Warriors series billed as must-see TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Kuchar builds on Masters momentum, shares Heritage lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

War of words in Northwestern-athletes’ union fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Shumenov gets big chance in ring against ageless Hopkins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Montreal team sign Chad Johnson to 2-year contract

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Seattle 1B Choi banned 50 games for positive test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Dodgers’ Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stanford takes lead at LPGA LOTTE tournament

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Boston Marathon makes room for more runners

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Vanden clinches at least share of SCAC boys tennis title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Toyota Camry gets a top-to-bottom makeover

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Hot models at this year’s New York Auto Show

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Judge won’t order recalled GM cars to be parked

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Walmart jumps into the money transfer biz, loudly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13