More police called for next UH Warriors home game
An online column helps prompt stadium officials to respond
» Aiona calls for safe arena to watch game
STORY SUMMARY »
Because of eight to 10 fights and disturbances during last week's football game, University of Hawaii and stadium officials will increase the police presence during next week's home game against Boise State.
The security increase also comes in response to an online column from a California fan who attended last week's Fresno State game, complaining about the police response and the altercations.
There will be as many as 25 more officers augmenting the 65 to 75 officers normally at the stadium during home football games. Boise State officials had expressed concerns about the conduct, since their team and fans will be in Hawaii for the Nov. 23 game.
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CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
University of Hawaii football fan behavior has become an issue, prompting UH officials to take steps heading into the Nov. 23 home game against Boise State. But first, UH plays on the road against Nevada tomorrow. Yesterday, Colt Brennan took a snap in practice after receiving medical clearance for a concussion suffered Saturday.
University of Hawaii football fans can expect stepped-up security for the Nov. 23 home game against Boise State in light of safety concerns raised by a visitor to last week's game.
An online column, written by someone identified as "C. Housepian," details heckling that led to alleged violence during last Saturday's UH game against Fresno.
Originally published on fresnostate.scout.com, the piece circulated and reached Boise State officials, who grew concerned because their team faces the UH Warriors in Aloha Stadium on Nov. 23.
In response, stadium officials will increase the police presence by 16 to 25 officers. Normally, there are about 65 to 75 police officers during the home games.
Housepian wrote about a fracas that "took a full seven to eight minutes for the first security officers to get to the section and another 10 minutes to try to figure out what had happened."
"They ended up escorting out a Fresno fan who was about 65 years old and had been one of the recipients of the Hawaii fan's taunting, spitting and punching while most of our section screamed at the cops that the man had done nothing wrong," Housepian wrote.
Hawaii fans also allegedly threw full water bottles, yelled obscenities and threw punches at Fresno fans.
"The incompetent police officers spent the next five minutes trying to figure out how to get into our section and ended up scaling a wall," Housepian wrote. "All the while, Hawaii fans were throwing punches."
Stadium Manager Scott Chan said police and security responded in a timely manner, but acknowledged the need for more security, particularly in the visitors section. He added there were no reports of injuries or arrests during last week's game.
"We know there's a lot of emotion riding high in that particular section," Chan said.
In addition to more security, UH football coach June Jones will tape a 30-second public service announcement to air during the game. The school will also place the announcement and advertisements in local media.
The school's "H-mail" mailing list, which reaches 34,000 people, will feature an appeal to fans for good sportsmanship. The Boise State game is sold out, with 50,000 people expected to attend.
"We do not condone this type of behavior," Chan said. "We would like to ensure we create a quality experience, and safety is at the top of our list."
During the game, there were eight to 10 disturbance reports throughout the stadium, Chan said.
"As a result of that, we met as a staff first thing on Monday morning to discuss the remaining home conference that we have against Boise State," said UH athletic director Herman Frazier.
Karl Benson, Western Athletic Conference commissioner, said officials from both schools have been in contact and that Boise State fans have been assured the incidents will not recur. Boise State athletics officials did not immediately return calls for comment.
"Both universities are working together to make sure November 23rd is a healthy, safe environment for two top-20 football programs," Benson said.
UH urges better behavior at stadium
The University of Hawaii's plans to promote better fan behavior at the next Warrior home game include:
» Coach June Jones will tape a 30-second public service announcement for television and radio stations before the Boise State game, asking fans to show aloha to visitors. The announcement will also air on Aloha Stadium's Jumbotron screen before the game.
» Jones and other UH officials will also issue information to media outlets encouraging all fans to act responsibly.
» The school's weekly "H-mail," circulated via e-mail to about 34,000 people, will also include an appeal to fans.
Aiona calls for safe arena to watch game
News of a Fresno State fan's reports of alleged violence and heckling at last Saturday's University of Hawaii football game reached the ears of Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, who pushed an alcohol ban two years ago at Aloha Stadium during UH games.
"UH fans and visitors alike should be able to enjoy the game without fear for their safety," Aiona said yesterday through a spokesman.
"The University of Hawaii and the Stadium Authority need to have the courage to take the proper precautions to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved," he said.
Aiona did not seize the opportunity to renew a call for an alcohol ban, citing the need to first gather facts on what actually occurred.
Aiona had proposed two years ago a total ban on alcohol at Aloha Stadium during regular-season UH and high school games due to fighting, rowdy behavior and underage drinking.
The Aloha Stadium Authority voted down a proposal in January 2006 to ban alcohol during tailgating in the stadium parking lot at regular season University of Hawaii and high school games.
The Stadium Authority cited the following reasons against it: testimony against the measure, a reduction in alcohol-related incidents and the possible effect on attendance at UH games, and the inconsistent message in banning alcohol outside the stadium but allowing sales inside.