Students rushing the field

Fans went wild when, on Sept. 3, UTSA played a historic first game. Excited San Antonio football fans -56,743 of them- filled the Alamodome, setting a new record for attendance at an inaugural NCAA game and proving fan dedication.

Roadrunner pride soared as the team closed with a 31-3 win against Oklahoma’s Northeastern State RiverHawks, while fans rushed onto the field in celebration.

Being on the field without proper authorization is considered criminal trespassing. Among the hundreds of students and fans that rushed the field, Ryan Stanley and seven others were arrested and summoned to appear in court.

In response to his fellow classmate’s imprisonment, former Student Body President Derek Trimm created a Facebook group called “True Fan: The Legend of Rowdy Ryan and the Runners of Eight,” in order to gain student support.

Before Ryan Stanley was released from jail, there was already 1,000 group members, many of whom were surprised and disturbed by the unnecessary violence some police officers showed while arresting the “Runners of Eight.”

The Facebook group ordered t-shirts and opened a PayPal account in hopes of raising money to help pay for the court fees and $800 fines that the “Runners of Eight” had been charged.

Trimm defended the students and stressed that “We’re not saying it was right that the students rushed the field, cause we weren’t supposed to.

“We’re not saying that the police acted outside their protocol. We’re just asking that the city sympathize with the students and show forgiveness for their actions,” said Trimm, according to MySA.com.

Forgiveness was given on Sept. 17 when D.A. Susan Reed dropped the criminal charges on the six students arrested–allowing the UTSA’s administration to handle the disciplinary actions.

The other two non-UTSA student’s charges are to be reduced from class B to class C misdemeanors as well. Reed stated to MySA.com, “My thinking is we’re not making a federal case out of this, but there just needs to be something, some form of accountability that they will face.”

Stanley, now known as Rowdy Ryan, stated, “I was extremely grateful for the mercy I got. No matter how excited you may be, you still have to obey the rules. Regardless of what ever other factors go into it, you still have to obey the law.”

Numerous students reported that they were disturbed by the viciousness of the police officers as they were arresting the fans. However, both Trimm and Stanley stressed that the police acted accordingly.

“I deserved everything they did to me,” said Stanley. “They didn’t do anything out side of their jurisdiction.”

In order to prevent another incident like the field rush from happening, Trimm and his Facebook group “True Fan: The Legend of Rowdy Ryan and the Runners of Eight,” have joined forces with the Alumni Association to create a student organization named “True Fan.”

Because big-time football is new to UTSA, the True Fan organization is seeking to convey to students what is and isn’t acceptable fan behavior.

The goal of the group is to educate students on spirit etiquette and channel their excitement in a positive way. The True Fan organization has decided to continue selling t-shirts that say “true fan” and “get rowdy” on back to raise money.

The money that had been previously raised by Trimm to help pay for court fees and the money raised from the shirts will be going to a student scholarship for students with exceptional school spirit.

Trimm concluded that “for a student led group to get so much community publicity, we really want to turn it into something that will go directly back into building traditions on campus. It’s something bigger than ourselves and we understand that.”

 

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