Did Fan Frenzy Go Too Far? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/18/02

Did Fan Frenzy Go Too Far?

When asked if Tech would really be able to prevent students from rushing the field, Cindy Rugeley with Tech News and Publications could only say, "No."

She says Tech security fully expected the big rush. Tech says they told students not to rush hoping it would not happen, but security knew it would. "Security personnel that were on the field were told if they start coming, let them go." That's because rushing the field wasn't the main concern."The big thing was the goal post and no getting people hurt. After the A&M incident last year, they got goal posts that you could bring down," she said.

And that's what maintenance did, before the posts were an issue. If you saw benches being passed around, "I know it looked like they were tearing down the benches, but that wasn't the case. They were all jumping up and down on them making noise and the benches broke."

Cindy says a handful of people were arrested before and during the game, but none of the students on the field were taken to jail after the game. She says, the students didn't get rowdy, they just wanted to celebrate with their team. Texas Tech Sophomore Derek Garley rushed the field with his friends. "I went out on the field just in celebration. I felt completely safe just being in the midst -- amongst a bunch of Texas Tech Red Raiders."

Senior Justin Lee also ran onto the field. "We rushed the field, we thought security was adequate. Students were going to be allowed on field, everybody knew that. We felt safe when we were on the field. There were a lot of people out there."

Texas Tech Student Body President Kelli Stumbo couldn't be prouder of her class. "Oh awesome, I mean we didn't have any problems as far as tortillas, the game could not have gone more smoothly in my opinion."

Cindy says she can't agree more. "I think all in all the students in particular handled it very, very well. The football team and the coaches seemed to really like it and so I think all in all it came out well."

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