After ralliing Rutgers’ basketball team by 19 points to win Penn State 59-56 Sunday night, the vice president of Penn State’s student fan organization, Legion of Blue, sent a letter to group members chastising them for using profanity “directed at members of the Rutgers basketball team.” .
The letter also cited racial language, but a member of the Rutgers group sitting in court, when reached late Sunday night by USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey, said he did not hear any racial taunts amid what he described as a stream of vulgarity rained down on the team. throughout the game.
Pennsylvania Department of Sports officials issued a statement to USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey regarding the matter Monday afternoon:
“Penn State Athletics, as well as other college administrators, are aware of the reported interactions between the student section and the Rutgers men’s basketball team on Sunday. We have been in contact with the leaders of the Blue Corps student group, and we do not condone the inappropriate actions of some Individuals on Sunday night. The Legion of Blue has been a tremendous supporter of Penn State basketball for many years and has historically represented themselves in a positive way while cheering for the Nittany Lions. The group and its leadership understand the behavioral expectations of all fans. Non-compliance may require eviction from the venue, as well as the possibility of cancellation Tickets and, in some cases, referral to authorities. Fan behavior is important to the experience of all Penn State teams and visitors and our goal is to create a competitive yet welcoming environment.”
Students sit behind benches at Penn State
The Legion of Blue message was posted on the GroupMe mobile messaging app and was captured and tweeted by Noah Riffe, photo editor with Gannett. Riffe told USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey that he reached out to the letter’s sender, Legion of Blue Vice President Noah Odige, who did not deny the authenticity of the letter.
At the Bryce Jordan Center, students sit behind benches.
“There are lines we don’t cross as fans. Police have issued a warning to athletics,” the message said.
Officials from the Pennsylvania Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“The privilege to sit behind the seats will be revoked if this behavior continues,” the letter said. “Athletics is deeply frustrated with the behavior displayed today and so are we. Our program and the university too.”
Jerry Carino has covered the New Jersey sports scene since 1996 and has tackled college basketball since 2003. He is an Associated Press Top 25 voter. Call him at [email protected].
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