Rushing the Field
The motto of our university is magna est veritas: Truth is great. Given the performance of the current school administration with regard to its handling of all things related to the Orange Bowl, this motto is less a tribute to the pursuit of honest inquiry than to our school’s capacity for self-parody. Instead of honest statements of substance, we receive platitudes about plasma screens. Instead of a forthright assessment of what went wrong in the negotiations with the city of Miami, we got a press release that seemed to have been written by Manny Diaz’s campaign staff.
The latest insult to our collective intelligence comes in the form of the Nov. 1 “Letter to the University Community.” Yes, we are certain that some fans are planning to rush the field at the close of the Virginia game, but maybe there’s a reason. This will be the end of a long and illustrious era in the history of the university, the city and all of sports, and these fans have a sense of the importance behind this occasion.
Our favorite part of the letter is the section that points out that rushing the field “is a move that could have serious consequences indeed.” We can only hope that the drone in the legal department who wrote this got his or her degree at some other institution.
The university does have some understandable reasons for not allowing the rushing – students could be injured, FIU still has two games to play and the desire to maintain order – maybe the university is underestimating the ability of student’s to rush the field as a peaceful goodbye, not a violent swarm.
It is indeed true that ACC rules prohibit storming the field. It is also true that the ACC has a sense of history and understands (sadly more than our own administration) that rules are meant to be broken.
We demand that the university acknowledge the true reasons behind its stance on rushing the field: A fear of liability for injuries that may be sustained by those who rush the field, a fear of being “judged” in the national press and a fear of the city of Miami officials. Though we do commend President Donna E. Shalala for saying she wishes that students could rush, one would think that if the president of a university wishes for something to happen, it would.