The University of Iowa is attempting to get some fans to clean up their act after complaints of unruly behavior at a recent game against Michigan. U-of-I President David Skorton joined football coach Kirk Ferentz and student government president Nate Green to ask fans to behave better at football games. Skorton made a rare appearance at Ferentz’s weekly meeting with the media after what he said were numerous complaints from Iowa and Michigan football fans about “uncivility” at October fourth’s homecoming game in Iowa City. He says that uncivility included t-shirts that contained expletives aimed at Michigan, and a sign that was show for a brief moment on the national TV broadcast of the game.Skorton says the t-shirts and signs are offensive to the university’s guests and its fans. Skorton says the university’s legal counsel advises it would not be constitutional to ban the profanity laced t-shirts from Kinnick Stadium, but he says that will not keep the university from condemning them and encouraging all fans to represent the university in a positive manner that does not demean guests. Skorton says Iowa is not the only school dealing with this problem. He says the entire Big Ten Conference has embarked on a campaign to improve the behavior of fans at sporting events. He says the Big Ten has adopted a creed that calls for fans to “wear school colors with pride, cheer at the top of our lungs; sing our school song off-key; respect conference traditions; support our team, win or lose; treat our visitors with respect.” Student government president Nate Green. He says he also got complaints from students, parents and fans about the t-shirts and the poster that appeared on television. Green gave this plea to students.He asked them to keep in mind that there are more than students attending the games. He says it only takes a few bad apples to make the Iowa football fan base look bad. Coach Ferentz says he agrees. He says he and his players enjoy the electricity and loyalty of the fans through good and bad times and he encourages everyone to come to the games and partake in the proper spirit. Ferentz says he wasn’t aware of the t-shirts and signs until someone told him about them after the game.He says he thinks a high percentage of Iowa fans have been outstanding. He says the games are a great place for people of all ages to go and have fun, and he says he hopes that spirit continues. University officials also announced they’ll be putting some more restrictions on tailgating in a university lot near the stadium after complaints of unruly fan behavior. Skorton says the behavior is clearly linked to excessive drinking and likely included underage drinking.
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