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Rushing Fans Threaten App State Home Field Advantage
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has issued a policy that may threaten Appalachian State University’s possible home football playoff games if fans rush the field.
In an informational memo, the NCAA issued the following statement, “An institution failing to keep its spectators and other unauthorized personnel out of the competition area before, during or after a contest during any round of the championship may, as determined by the football committee, be prohibited from serving as a host for the subsequent round of the championship.”
Convened in 1997, the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct is responsible for the policy.
Christopher Radford, assistant director of Public and Media Relations for the NCAA said one of the organization’s key principals is sportsmanship.
“Everyone involved in intercollegiate athletics, from student athletes to coaches to officials and fans, is expected to contribute to an atmosphere of respect, civility and sportsmanship,” Radford said.
Appalachian implemented its effort to educate fans about the policy and repercussions of rushing the field at the game Friday against Wofford College.
There were several announcements about the policy, as well as video board messages telling fans what could happen if they chose to rush the field.
“Our main priority is educating the fans,” Mike Flynn, assistant athletics director and director of Sports Information said. “The NCAA is pretty serious about losing a home game being a repercussion of this [policy].”
Flynn said there will be increased security personnel at the home games, but he is not confident the new staff alone will prevent fans from coming on to the field.
“No matter how many security personnel we hire, the fans will still outnumber them,” Flynn said. “Our first and foremost concern is safety.”
He said the only way the policy has a chance of being enforced is for the fans to realize the consequences and dangers of rushing the field.
Not only will the football team lose home field advantage during the playoffs, the economic community of Boone could also take a hard hit.
“The impact of a home game for the economic community is in seven figures,” Flynn said, with restaurants and hotels taking the majority of the
Rushing fans threaten home field advantage
by Audri Hamm, The Appalachian