In the past few weeks, fans flocked to Twitter to grieve the latest lackluster football season, with frustrations still burning long after the final games were played. This anger reached its peak when students reported having their signs with slogans such as “#FireAlGolden” confiscated during men’s basketball games at the BankUnited Center.
The question of whether these signs were explicitly banned is not entirely clear. There was an official rule banning signs, though it appears to have been added after the signs were confiscated.
The actions of the BUC are not beyond reproach. By never clearly defining their policy regarding signs, they exposed themselves to a situation for which they were unprepared. Though they were within their legal rights to confiscate the signs as owners of the venue, simply being legal is not enough of a justification. As a result, the BUC appeared to be capricious and opaque. Going forward, more explicit rules will be vital to improve the relations between the BUC and their fans.
The BUC should not shoulder the entire weight of these consequences.
Rules aside, these signs are simply in bad taste. Basketball games are, and should be, about basketball. Bringing signs with slogans like “Fire Al Golden” to a basketball game is nothing more than a distraction, and confiscating the signs was not completely unthinkable for a number of reasons.
There is also a sense of futility to them; the administration has made it clear that Al Golden will still be on board next season. The purpose of these signs in the context of a basketball game then seems pointless. If fans wish to express their opinions, there are other outlets to achieve that. Twitter has proven that already.
Standards of decency have to apply. A venue has its policies, and they should be respected even if they were not clearly promoted to fans.
As misguided as the sign drama is, however, it approaches a deeper issue that must be addressed. Many people feel frustrated by the way the football program is run and feel as though it needed a significant change to return to its former glory.
For better or worse, the near future of UM football has been decided, and it is time to focus on the spring semester’s sports season.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.