The following is a letter issued by Utah State University President Stan Albrecht and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes regarding the fan behavior at the recent USU versus Brigham Young University basketball game. Signs, chants and general fan behavior crossed the line, according to the letter, and personal apologies have have been made with BYU’s president and athletic director. Most of the derogatory signs were directed towards BYU forward Brandon Davies who was suspended for the end of BYU’s 2010-2011 basketball season for an Honor Code violation.
<strong>Letter to USU Students and Aggie Fans</strong>
November 22, 2011 Dear USU students and all Aggie fans, All of us at Utah State University take great pride in the fact that the Spectrum is one of the toughest venues in all of sports for opposing teams. Our fans know how to bring down the house like no others, and every Aggie in the crowd and on the floor is motivated by the enthusiasm supporters bring to the game. We were disappointed and disturbed, however, during the recent basketball game against BYU. Some fans chose to conduct themselves in ways that went far beyond mere school rivalry, fair play and — most importantly — basic human decency. We have to be able to find some way to display incomparable enthusiasm and school spirit without resorting to crude language, outright vulgarity and deeply personal insults chanted at an opposing player. It is inappropriate for us to invite a guest to come into our home and then have to suffer the language and personal insults tossed at him. We have visited personally with both President Samuelson and Athletic Director Tom Holmoe and apologized on behalf of the USU community. We take very seriously the promise we make to you when you arrive as students on campus: you will leave here having been held to high academic standards, and you will leave here having been held to high ethical standards. We hold our heads high as we tell your parents, our communities and you that Utah State University is a place that changes lives for the better. What comes next? We have already begun to redouble our efforts by working closely with the HURD leadership, our cheer squads, ASUSU leaders and our fans themselves to discuss the principles of good sportsmanship and the definition of “Aggie” good sportsmanship. Surely we can find ways to exhibit extraordinary — and extraordinarily loud — school spirit while at the same time being extraordinary examples of character and integrity. We pride ourselves on these principles of behavior both in and out of the classroom. This is an important issue that must be addressed quickly. Utah State University has the greatest fans in the world. Let that tradition continue. Sincerely, Stan L. Albrecht President S. Scott Barnes Director of Athletics