More than 150 people were ejected from Williams-Brice Stadium during Thursday’s game against UNC, marring the season opening victory, according to USC’s Division of Law and Enforcement Safety. Of the 151 removed, 16 face criminal charges that consist, unsurprisingly, of entering the student section without a wristband, possessing and attempting to conceal alcohol and disorderly conduct.
The total ejections and arrests include both students and non-students, but it’s a jarring increase from the 82 violations police logged last year when the Gamecocks opened up at home against East Carolina. Furthermore, this year’s 151 ejections came on a Thursday, and that’s disconcerting considering that last year’s 82 were on a Saturday.
One might presume a Saturday would be rowdier than a Thursday, but it seems some Gamecock football fans defy logic. What does follow logic, however, is that spirits were running much higher for a border battle with North Carolina than they did for ECU, which explains, somewhat, the increased ejections. That being said, zealous dedication to the Gamecocks and their creaming the Tar Heels is no excuse for Thursday night’s behavior.
We can only hope that Thursday was an anomaly rather than a preview of the rest of the season. It’s safe to say that should the high number of ejections continue, actions would be taken to reduce them.
Whether we just witnessed rock bottom or tip of the iceberg is best left unanswered, so let’s focus on straightening things out before the university decides to reprimand us. We’ve enjoyed great success on the football field in recent years, and we can’t let our behavior off the field ruin it.