Field rush gave students a deserved celebration

Field rush gave students a deserved celebration

Between an all-time record crowd at the Amon Carter Stadium, a 27-point margin of victory over No. 16-ranked Utah and the most successful “Frogs for the Cure” game to date, there were a lot of winners Saturday night in Fort Worth. Among the less storied was new athletics director Chris Del Conte, who won the support and respect of the student body.

According to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article, as students began to rush the field following the historic Horned Frog victory, Del Conte simply said, “Let ’em come … It’s a celebration. Rushing the field is part of college football.”

What perfect timing for TCU to change its stance on this issue with the whole country – including BCS bowl representatives – watching. If we want to play with the “big boys” in the BCS, our enthusiasm needs to reflect our No. 4 ranking, from players and coaches, to fans and administrators.

Although I don’t intend to harp on the past, a situation similar to Saturday night’s game was dealt with quite differently last year when we upset BYU 32-7 at home. As enthusiastic Frog fans attempted to celebrate a monumental victory with their football player peers, students were met quite aggressively by an army-like line of Fort Worth Police defense.

What’s even more disheartening than watching police officers enjoy tackling kids half their size is TCU Police defending those actions as recently as an Oct. 20 Skiff article about security at football games.

“There was a small contingent of TCU fans (at Clemson), so you can let 500 people on the field and it’s not going to destroy the field and it’s not going to be a crowd issue. If you have 30,000 of your home crowd storm the field, you’re going to have people hurt,” said campus police chief Steve McGee in the article.

Being in charge of the safety of an entire campus of sarcastic and boisterous 18- to 22-year-olds is certainly a daunting task. TCU Police deserve a huge amount of credit as I would argue our officers are more reasonable and polite than most university police. With that said, it’s a shame it has taken this long for TCU to allow its students to celebrate victories in the same fashion that our opponents do when they beat us in their stadiums.

Either way, the fans got their chance to make memories on the field Saturday night and ought to have plenty of stories and pictures worthy of sharing with their kids and maybe even grandchildren one day.

John Andrew Willis is a junior environmental science major from Dallas.