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Open Letter To University

September 30, 2003


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Open letter to the Western Illinois University Community:

Looking ahead to this weekend’s Homecoming activities, we write this letter to ask for your help and cooperation. This year’s Homecoming football game carries with it a much higher level of emotion and anticipation as our campus welcomes the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky University. As much as we would like to forget the postgame events of last December, we all have a responsibility to learn from that unfortunate incident.

For the past nine months, the Athletics Department has focused on appropriate game behavior. The players involved in the postgame incident have been reprimanded and disciplined. The coaching staff and the football team have participated in seminars and presentations addressing personal responsibility. We are confident these efforts will prove very worthwhile, not just for this particular game but for all athletic events through the year.

We were very proud of the conduct of our fans during the I-AA postgame last year. We now ask you, community members and students, again to consider your responsibility as representatives of Western Illinois University. Everyone—players, coaches, and fans-- has a responsibility to conduct themselves appropriately. It is certainly expected and appreciated that we create a home field advantage and we encourage you to be loud and boisterous and cheer for your Leathernecks. A good sport cheers for her or his team. It is poor fan behavior, however, to cheer against our opponents. As a supporter attending the game this weekend, you have the right to cheer your team on loudly. You do not have the right to make physical contact with any player, coach, or game official and you are never allowed onto the field. Please remain in the bleachers at all times. Intimidating actions or taunting directed at opposing student-athletes, coaches or game officials will not be tolerated and violators are subject to discipline and could be removed from the stadium.

The Western Illinois University/Macomb community is very proud of its football team and we have every confidence our coaches and student-athletes will represent our community and university with honor and integrity. Last year the campus adopted the theme “Now is the Time….Civility;” Saturday’s game provides the perfect opportunity to showcase our civility while advancing our efforts at being good sports.

We encourage you to participate in as many Homecoming activities as possible and come out to Hanson Field and support your Leatherneck football team. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Have a safe and enjoyable Homecoming weekend.

Sincerely,


Al Goldfarb, President; Tim M. Van Alstine, Director of Athletics

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations