Don’t hate the player, hate the game

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One week ago, the entire student section was thrown out of a basketball game for commenting on the appearance of a Denison men’s basketball player. Students expressed concern over the fact that the entire section was kicked out due to the actions of (allegedly) one student without interference from the athletic department, especially considering low student attendance at sports games. However, according to section 8 of the NCAA basketball handbook, officials are expected to, “Penalize misconduct by a player, coach, substitute, team attendant or follower” and, “Penalize unsportsmanlike or disqualifying acts by any offender.” This quoted section of the handbook proves that the DePauw athletic department or either of the teams had no influence in removing the entire student section from the game. Although the removal of the entire section was disappointing, the responsibility for the removal falls on the shoulders of the officials themselves. With postseason games underway for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, who played in the first round of the NCAC tournament last night, this is a friendly reminder to behave at athletic events. The players love having a large cheering section. It gets them excited to play and encourages them to play well. Having an entire group of students get kicked out of a game is distracting to the players. The job of a student section is to cheer the players on, not distract them. Do your part and behave in an appropriate manner both this postseason and at every game you go to; the players work too hard to receive anything less.

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