Fans of the University of North Dakota are still smarting after the NCAA forced the removal of the “Fighting Sioux” logo and nickname, calling it hostile and abusive. But while the NCAA is quick to act on something as silly as that (keep in mind, many Sioux Indians here in North Dakota very much like the name), they don’t do anything about college sports fans to riot.
The latter seems to be the much more serious problem, don’t you think? And it’s not like these are isolated incidents.
Minnesota saw two riots within a week. Afer beating the University of North Dakota to go to the championship game, Minnesota Gophers fans rioted in Dinkytown. Then, just days later, they rioted again after their hockey team lost the NCAA championship.
There may be no more chilling example of America’s unhealthy obsession with sports, particularly collegiate sports, then these outpourings of violence after big victories and big losses. Many of these sports teams have followings that border on the cult like, and often this behavior is condoned with a wink and a nod by the most ardent fans.
So what can be done? Threats of crackdowns and arrests by law enforcement don’t do the trick. Is it time for the NCAA to step in and begin sanctioning these sports programs when their fans act like morons?
Clearly these idiots – there really is no better word for them – value their favored team’s well being above all else (including other people’s property, their own arrest records, etc). So how about the NCAA hits them where it hurts the most which is their team’s ability to be competitive?
Professional leagues could do the same. Maybe NCAA teams with rioting fans could lose scholarships, while pro teams whose fans riot lose draft picks. The specifics, including what sort of behavior would trigger such sanctions, could be worked out. But it would be nice if the NCAA could do this, especially for those of us who don’t care about anything to do with the NCAA but must pay for the law enforcement responses and property damages created by these mobs of imbeciles.
It would be a step in the right direction, because we obviously can’t expect these sports fans to behave like adults.