Work in Sports
Penn State faculty pleads for end to 'negative cheering'
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- In Penn State's worst start in 36 years, it may be too much to ask fans not to boo.
But that's just what the faculty did Wednesday, approving a resolution to denounce "negative cheering" at football games.
The anti-booing resolution passed by the University Faculty Senate will be read before every football game at Beaver Stadium.
"I think as soon as they make that announcement there's going to be a chorus of boos," said Matt Brinker, a Penn State senior from South Carolina.
While some people may feel making their displeasure known from the stands is a fine old American tradition, officials feel it has gotten out of hand this season during the team's disappointing performance.
The 3-5 Nittany Lions -- who have reached five losses in a season for only the 12th time in 114 years of competition -- have heard fans boo their own losing team, taunt their own athletes and some on the opposing team and chant profanities at referees after unpopular calls.
Even the cheerleaders sometimes lead fans in negative cheers, said Scott Kretchmar, the faculty NCAA representative who drafted the measure.
"We hope the students will get behind this, too," Kretchmar said. "One thing that has to be clear is that it's not any attempt to have us be quiet regarding Penn State."
A message encouraging a warm welcome for the visiting team is already part of the standard stadium announcements, but students seem to ignore that as well.
"You expect that at every school you go to," said Kim Mowl, a freshman from northern Virginia. "I'm sure Penn State gets booed when they go to other schools."