On multiple Web sites and blogs, thousands of Hurricane fans have expressed interest in “rushing” the field at the last football game at the Orange Bowl. Some students said they plan to rush peacefully, while others have expressed a desire for a more aggressive approach.
President Donna E. Shalala, along with Coach Randy Shannon, sent out an e-mail to alumni last week and students this week saying that rushing the field will not be tolerated. Shalala also noted during a Student Government meeting two weeks ago that rushing the field is “a serious problem.”
“We would let people on the field if there weren’t two [more]FIU games,” Shalala said during the meeting. “We would get severe ACC penalties for tearing up the field or the seats. We’re not allowed to do it.”
Student Government attempted to plan an organized walk for Hurricane fans, but plans fell through due to discouragement by the administration and the city of Miami Police Department.
“Student Government tried their best but it was not up to us,” said SG President Danny Carvajal. “The administration, along with the city of Miami, which owns the Orange Bowl, has decided on a blanket policy: No one will be allowed on the field at all. Students who break this law could get arrested.”
Still, same fans may not heed the warning.
One Facebook group called “Rush The O.B. on Nov. 10” has reached almost 1,408 members. Group creator Woody Perez de Corcho has received negative publicity due to controversial comments posted on his group’s discussion board.
“I didn’t create this group to start a riot, and I never condoned destroying the field, like some people thought,” Corcho said. “Other people wanted to tear down the goal posts like on TV, but I didn’t really have that in mind. I’ve been a Hurricane fan since I was born and I just wanted to create a positive, lasting memory for everyone.”
The university plans an “exciting” pre-game show, along with a senior walk around the field before the game.
Richard Walker, assistant vice president of Student Affairs, said that rushing the field would “not coordinate well with the day’s eventful schedule.”
“Another question is, how do you begin to remove people from the field?” Walker said. “We’re expecting 70,000 to 80,000 people to show up. It would be too difficult and dangerous to plan this.”
Furthermore, approximately 300 Miami-Dade police officers will surround the field before the game ends, said Patricia A. Whitely, vice president of Student Affairs.
“It’s crazy as far as that goes,” Whitely said, referring to student rushing.
Miami police said that without the rushing a lot of damage will be prevented.
“I’ve seen mini-riots break out at the Orange Bowl,” Detective Delrish Moss said. “It is not suggested that students try to go on the field. There will be a large presence of police officers and security at the stadium to prevent this from happening.”
Still, students who want to say a final goodbye to the OB expressed disappointment.
“I do know people who could have rushed aggressively, but I’m not one of them,” Kari Rosenberg, a junior, said. “If the administration would just let us march on the field for the last time, then it could be a peaceful goodbye. It could be meaningful.”
Chelsea Kate Isaacs may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A look at field rushing
University of Oregon students rushed the field last weekend against Arizona State.
Notre Dame has a tradition of rushing the field that dates back to their first game.
University of Arizona Wildcats have rushed after their last three homecoming games, all wins.
UM students rushed the field on Dec. 5, 1998 after a win against UCLA, in a 49-45 victory.
Rushing the field was a custom at Dartmouth until 1986, when the university banned the activity because fans were acting violently. Still, the rules have not stopped some students from rushing the field – last year six students were arrested for performing a siege of the stadium.
– Karyn Meshbane
Check out the Orange Bowl commemorative issue on Nov. 12