COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a recent article examining this university’s move from the ACC to the Big Ten, The Baltimore Sun published email exchanges between Chancellor Brit Kirwan and James L. Shea, the chairman of the Board of Regents, and in some of those emails, the two administrators expressed “concern” over the “toxic” behavior of Terrapins fans at some games.
The emails specifically mentioned riots and car burnings after victories. Here’s a snippet from Kirwan, a former president of the Ohio State University, pulled from The Sun story: “Having been in the Big Ten, I don't ever recall an issue of decorum. And I don't know a rivalry that is more intense than Michigan and Ohio State in football."
The thoughts of several Ohio State students, however, suggest that the actions of the Terps’ fan base aren’t particularly unusual.
“I think [parties and riots] happen everywhere,” Ohio State student Payton Woodruff said. “Except maybe Harvard and Yale.”
Woodruff and several other students said that after the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin’s football team in September, there were disruptive parties on the Columbus campus. One student chose not to give her name because she referenced alcohol, but said that multiple fans got arrested that night.
“A lot of people got arrested,” she said. “Before and after [the game].”
Ohio State sophomores Tom Lovsey and Jason Carr said they don’t believe fans in Columbus have burned cars (Ed. note: here's an Associated Press story out of Columbus from 2002 that directly references burning cars), but they’ve also seen fans arrested for disorderly conduct after games.
“I think that happens everywhere,” Lovsey said. “Anywhere there’s big sports teams.”
Several Ohio State students also gave their opinion on the Terps joining the Big Ten conference next year.
Woodruff said he thought the conference would benefit from having a team in the Washington area and the consensus among those interviewed was that the Terps basketball team will add to the strength of the Big Ten, but the bowl-bound football team would not.
“It helps us out more in basketball than it does football,” Dylan Gonzales said. “They have a lot better basketball team.”
Carr added that the Terps are a big-market team, which helps the conference’s exposure.
“And they have nice uniforms,” Carr said.
Ed. note: Here's a 2007 AP story quoting former Ohio State president Karen Holbrook on the game-day behavior of students at the school.
"They think it's fun to flip cars, to really have absolute drunken orgies. ... I don't want to be at a place that has this kind of culture as a norm," she said.