Some students at the University of North Florida (UNF) got an email recently stating that “effective immediately, all student tailgating associated with athletic events are suspended for the rest of the academic year.”
First Coast News reports that the email was sent to fraternity and sorority members whom some school officials feel are responsible for excessive drinking that was taking place at the tailgates. A student had to be transported from a tailgate to receive medical attention last week.
UNF Athletic Director Lee Moon told the Florida Times-Union that, “tailgating, by definition, is probably not what is going on.”
The pre-basketball game gatherings are called “Swoop-gating” at UNF and reports say typically around 1,000 students will show up, but only around 200 actually head inside to see the game. This is what seems to have prompted school officials to drop the hammer.
“The rest of them stay out there and drink,” Moon said. “That’s not what tailgating is, not what it should be. It should be about school spirit.”
For their part, basketball players said canceling the tailgates will also cancel much of the energy of the home crowd during games.
The Times-Union reported:
Locked in a tight race for conference positioning, coach Matthew Driscoll was clearly frustrated by the decision to suspend tailgates the rest of the season.
“It’s almost a slap in the face,” Driscoll said. “Like we did something wrong or the guys did something wrong. That’s the part that hurts.”
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