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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UAPD not prosecuting

    Students climb on the north field goal posts after the Wildcats defeated the University of California at Berkeley Golden Bears on Saturday. Tucson Police Department and University of Arizona Police Department are not going to prosecute students who rushed the field.
    Students climb on the north field goal posts after the Wildcats defeated the University of California at Berkeley Golden Bears on Saturday. Tucson Police Department and University of Arizona Police Department are not going to prosecute students who rushed the field.

    UAPD is not currently investigating the students who rushed the field and climbed the goal post following Saturday’s Homecoming football game, despite repeated warnings from stadium announcers that those students would be prosecuted.

    UAPD has more serious crimes to deal with that will be addressed more quickly than the trespassing incidents at Saturday’s game, said Sgt. Eugene Mejia, UAPD spokesman.

    Arizona Athletics’ cameras are always running during games, and when fans rush the field, those videos are turned over to UAPD, said Suzy Mason, associate director of Arizona Athletics and events management.

    In 2005, UAPD reviewed the film from the Wildcats’ Homecoming 52-14 win over the University of California at Los Angeles in an attempt to prosecute students who climbed the goal post and rushed the field.

    But Mejia said UAPD was unable to identify any of the students involved because no one came forward with information.

    UAPD officers’ main concern is the safety of the public, and climbing the goal post is dangerous, as one student at another university was killed in 2005 after a goal post fell on him, Mejia said.

    With a football game versus ASU on Nov. 25, Mejia said physically preventing students from rushing the field is a huge task that would involve hundreds of officers – instead, UAPD is encouraging volunteer compliance.

    Leo Grifka, a pre-business sophomore who climbed on top of the crossbars of the goalposts following the win, said he is not afraid of being prosecuted by the police.

    “”We just sprinted down to the field after that interception,”” Grifka said Saturday. “”We were one of the first ones down there, and we got on the goalposts.””

    Arizona Athletics’ policy to keep people off the field aims to protect referees, players and anyone who works on the field, said Mason.

    The policy against rushing is also to protect the fans who are flooding the field. During both this and last year’s Homecoming victories, people rushing the field were hurt. Mason could not disclose what injuries were sustained for legal reasons.

    After the UCLA game, Arizona Athletics had complaints about student rushers taunting UCLA players. This year the crowd was not as rowdy, Mason said.

    “”It was a great win, so the activities on the field were more celebratory,”” Mason said. “”(But) not everyone goes at the same rate when they leave the stands.””

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