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January 31, 2005 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-31

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 31, 2005

JOI0 After years as a staple of
Michigan hockey, 'The Chant' is
now in danger of becoming a thing of the past
By Jake Rosenwasser " Daily Sports Writer
Page design by Daniel Bremmer

000

uring the Michigan hockey
team's last two games this
weekend, the University has
started to enforce a ban on profanity at Yost
Ice Arena. The athletic department recently
changed its policy regarding profanity and,
in particular, the profanity-laced C-YA cheer.
Students who use profanity will now be
ejected from Yost.
Executive Associate Athletic Director
Michael Stevenson sent an e-mail to student
season-ticket holders on Wednesday explain
the policy change. The change was made after
a home weekend against Alaska-Fairbanks in
which Stevenson said he saw no improvement
in fans' behavior since talking with student
season-ticket holders on Jan. 11 during an
MSA-run meeting.
The Department of Public Safety said it
removed four students from Yost over the
weekend for using vulgar language during
Michigan's two-game series against North-
ern Michigan. One student received a minor
in possession of alcohol citation, DPS report-
ed. Others were removed by the event staff
without the aid of DPS.
Stevenson pledged to continue the crack-
down throughout the rest of the season,
including this Friday, when arch-rival Michi-
gan State comes to
Yost. He has sched-
uled another meeting An alter
with student ticket
holders this Thurs-
day to continue the site III(, wdewi
dialogue.
In addition to
the e-mail, the ath-
letic department
placed flyers on all
the student seats for
Friday's game. The
flyers stated the same
policy change as the
-mail.
Stevenson said
he was changing
the policy because
of continuous com-
plaints from Michi-
gan fans.
Over the last five
years, the profan- "A Westeri
ity at Yost has been
discouraged by the
athletic department,
Michigan coach Iis r ad
Red Berenson and (h111 "
Michigan captains. At Yost, the B
But offenders in the
stands were rarely no aHeeted by IIh(
ejected, if at all. have omde up1th1
Vulgarity has so.
become the norm
at Yost. Tradition- a1)bx we sty:
ally when a player
from the opposing
team enters the pen-
alty box, the Michi- Hot fe sudei
gan student section' oed the lyrics
berates him with the
C-YA cheer, which
consists of a string of 11 words, most of
them expletives. In sync with a fury of hand
motions, most of the students in attendance
shout out, "Chump, dick, wuss, douche bag,
asshole, prick, cheater, bitch, whore, slut,
cocksucker."
It has become part of the student section
tradition to add an expletive onto the cheer
each year, and this year was no different.
After a few home games, the word "cock-
sucker" was added.
Before Friday's game, Stevenson and Yost
management instructed the event staff on
how to handle the new policy.
"We're supposed to give them one warn-
ing for vulgarity," event staff worker Gary
Korpal said before Friday's game. "The next
time they do it, they're going to be removed
by security."

But Korpal said that the event staff was
instructed to look out for certain vulgar
words.
"They're more worried about c-sucker
than anything else," Korpal said. "They're
gung ho on that. They don't want to hear that
word at all. They said that's what they want
to focus on now."
University sports management prof. David
Shand said that the athletic department is well
within its rights to kick spectators out for any
behavior that it feels is inappropriate.
"Yost is owned and operated by the Uni-
versity, and they set the rules," Shand said.
"There are limitations on First Amendment
rights. There are a number of behaviors that
you cannot engage in at Yost. You cannot go
to a game naked, and you cannot smoke pot
there. This isn't any different. They have the
right to create any environment they want to
create. They want to create the best environ-
ment that suits the most people."
To add to the athletic department's case
even further, in the small type at the bot-
tom of every student ticket, a message reads:
"Management reserves the right to refuse
admission or to eject any person whose con-
duct Management deems disorderly, obnox-
ious, or unbecoming."
On Friday, the
first Northern
Michigan penalty
came in the sec-
ond period. Event
staff worker Bill
Hill, stationed
amongst the stu-
dents, watched
as they engaged
in the traditional
cheer. After the
cheer, Hill picked
out R.C. senior
Dan Mullkoff
--one of the more
animated and stri-
dent fans in the
section - and told
him, "You've been
warned one time,
the next time you
will be escorted
out by the cops."
At the end of
the second period,
an official called
Northern Michi-
gan defenseman
John Miller for
hooking, and the
cheer started up
again. This time
Mullkoff did the
hand motions, but
kept his mouth
shut throughout.
"I felt like it
wasn't worth it,"
Mullkoff said.
"As cool as being
a martyr would
have been."
And while Mullkoff managed to stay,
engineering freshman Matthew Rodriguez
was removed from Yost in the third period.
Rodriguez said he was warned earlier in the
game by the event staff for participating in
the C-YA cheer but was removed for being
vocal in other ways.
"I was yelling at (Northern Michigan goal-
ie Tuomas) Tarkki," Rodriguez said. "The
worst thing I think I said was, 'Your mother
doesn't love you.' I never used profanity
because I was warned about profanity, and I
understood the warning, and I understood the
e-mail sent by the athletic department."
Rodriguez said that he was initially
warned for the C-YA cheer. He said that
he recited the whole cheer, except for the
"cocksucker" at the end.
"I acted responsibly," Rodriguez said. "I'm

JASON COOPER/Daily
The athletic department has started to hold the Michigan students to "higher standards."

0
0

going to take this to the athletic department
Monday morning."
Rodriguez left Yost with the event staff, but
others were escorted out by police officers. Ste-
venson said there were a few extra officers on
hand to make sure everything ran smoothly.
But fans' disenchantment wasn't limited to
those stopped by the event staff and DPS.
"If you're at a hockey arena and you pay
for your seats, you should be able to express
what you want to say," said one non-student
season-ticket holder, Jamie Binkley.
On Jan. 11, MSA facilitated a meeting
between student season-ticket holders and
members of the athletic department, led
by Stevenson, to address the C-YA cheer
issue. All 800 season-ticket holders were
invited to the meeting, but only 20 showed
up. Still, members from both sides left
the meeting feeling positive about getting
ideas out in the open about how to rem-
edy the situation. The two sides discussed
a student contest to create a new, more
appropriate cheer with an accompanying
T-shirt that would have the words on the
back. They also discussed a student-run
organization similar to Michigan basket-
ball's Maize Raze that could communicate
more closely with the athletic department.
After the meeting, the two sides agreed to
continue their talks.
But after the ensuing weekend series
against Alaska-Fairbanks at Yost, Stevenson
changed Michigan's policy.
"We had this positive meeting," Stevenson
said. "We left it feeling good. I didn't think
(the C-YA cheer) would go away overnight,
but, over the
Alaska-Fair-
banks weekend, n
the volume and
the annuncia- The mother Of a
tion of the words 1.1 who attended Fr
went up and the concerned about the
spirit of it went n(t to the point of
up. It's unaccept- son ticket,,---yet.
able. It was clear
to me that a great
majority of the Who brings her 10-
students didn't MichaeL."But youC
comply with what and yNJ don't want
we asked themff s '
to do. And so it
was a total oppo-
site of the good
feelings we had
when we left the
meeting with the
students."
Business
senior Josh Gold-
man was one of
the season-ticket
holders who
attended the Jan.
11 meeting. He

They didn't kick anybody out for doing
the beginning of the cheer. The students
learned, and the students know.
"If you said 'cocksucker,' then they would
point at you, and, if you did it again, they would
throw you out. Nobody I was with wanted to
be kicked out. One word isn't worth it.
"I'm not upset about it, but I don't think
that there has been any goodwill fostered
between the athletic department and the stu-
dents who went to the meeting."
Some students guessed that the athletic
department put the emphasis on the word
"cocksucker" because it was at the end of the
cheer and was the most audible of the crass
words. When said in such a fury, many of
the words in the beginning and middle of the
chant can blend together.
When asked, Stevenson insisted that he
wanted the whole chant either erased or
changed, not just the word, "cocksucker."
"There are a number of words (that we
want the students to stop saying)," Steven-
son said. "But that's certainly one (of them).
When I get 10 to 20 letters and phone calls
after every single home weekend that parents
can't bring their children here, then we need
to get the chant changed.
"You've got eight words that are unaccept-
able. Some students call and say, 'How can
you be working with us and then throw us out
of the arena?' And I ask them, 'Is that some-
thing you would say at the dinner table with
your parents?' And no one has said 'Yes.' "
But the students understood the mes-
sage after the crackdown on Friday. Dur-
ing Saturday's game, there were varying
estimates about the
volume of the cheer,
*i ebut there was one
stark change: most
stopped screaming
"cocksucker" at the
end of it.
mweeing her Sea- On one side of
the student section,
0 sitting, it's hard some of the students
screamed "bed-wet-
L-ir old son John- ter" in its place. On
the other side, some
him to 11r, that of the students yelled,
"We love you, Red."
K t'n fe igt ry it,"I would (say) that
lave 1) Say 'Wait a it was quieter tonight
aying that., than it was last
>d idea (1( piiss night," Stevenson
it will tonle the said on Saturday. "I
think the students
g1g to be h rd, were conscious that
we were trying to
thle point (Where evaluate what was
not comlingtnot going on."
ish it furt her. t henAnother meeting
between the season-
)re in the nort ticket holders and the
irectly o>>ositeathletic department

e
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