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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Rude ASU fans anger UA team

     February 29, 1988 — TEMPE — Just when you think you saw and heard it all, Arizona State fans appear.

    “”Those people are the scum of the earth,”” University of Arizona guard Steve Kerr said after being verbally abused by Sun Devil fans during the Wildcats’ 101-73 victory Saturday night at the Activity Center.

    Members of the ASU student section and the Sun Devil band were at full force as comments were made to the Wildcats’ senior that were, to say the least, not what college athletics are all about.

    “”I don’t mind good college fun and students sections that really get on the other team, but when they start getting personal, chanting PLO . . . “” Kerr said. “”That is sick.””

    Kerr’s father, while the president of the American University in Beirut, was assassinated by terrorists in 1984.

    “”I’ve never heard stuff like that before,”” junior forward Sean Elliott said. “”You have to wonder what’s going on in somebody’s mind.””

    After the game, the abuse was the only topic of discussion as the Wildcat players and coaching staff were livid over the insults.

    “”People said something to Steve about, ‘Why don’t you go back to Beirut’ and ‘Where’s your dad?,’ “” UA head coach Lute Olson said. “”People have to be mentally ill.””

    Arizona has faced fans and situations from opposing crowds from all over the country, but nothing like they heard from its in-state rivals.

    “”They have the rudest fans,”” senior guard Craig McMillan said. “” It was different than we ever heard before. Some of the thing they were saying . . . that’s not part of sports.””

    One member of the Wildcats was so outraged, he wanted to amend the situation himself.

    “”If they were out there, I would go take care of them myself,”” senior center Tom Toblert said forcibly.

    The berating the Wildcats took appeared to bother them more after the game than during, as they took their anger out on the Sun Devils.

    “”We were fired up to play,”” Elliott said. “”That made us ever more fired up.””

    Olson did not have to worry about getting his third-ranked Wildcats motivated for a game against a team Arizona beat by 40 points last month.

    “”Our guys could not wait for the tip (off),”” Olson said.

    Even after signing autograph after autograph, the tension in Kerr’s voice could be felt as he continually talked about the comments.

    “”Maybe that is what you get for having to sell tickets for a $1,”” Kerr said.

    The Sun Devils sold many of their seats for a buck against Arizona.

    Olson, after being bombarded by questions of the incident said something should have been and must be done from now on so things of this nature do not occur again.

    “”In my opinion that is where security should step in and usher idiots like that out of the facility,”” the Wildcats’ fifth-year head coach said. “”Someone needs to find out who people like that are and get them out of college crowds.””

    In the long run, the spectators, who obviously did not come toe watch the game, but to show their IQ, were the real losers when Kerr scored 20 points in the first half, 22 for the game.

    “”That shut up those jerks,”” Olson said.

     

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