Virginia Tech to restrict ‘selfish, inappropriate, and embarrassing student behavior’ at football games

Virginia Tech announced Thursday it was taking steps to crack down on student behavior at football games ahead of the team’s matchup against Pittsburgh.,

Virginia Tech announced Thursday it was taking steps to crack down on student behavior at football games ahead of the team’s matchup against Pittsburgh.

In a joint letter from Virginia Tech athletics director Whit Babcock, vice president of student affairs Frank Shushok Jr. and Virginia Tech police chief Mac Babb, the school addressed the need to curb the behavior of students who go to home games at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg.

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Virginia Tech running back Raheem Blackshear (5) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Notre Dame during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.

Virginia Tech running back Raheem Blackshear (5) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Notre Dame during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.
(AP Photo/Matt Gentry)

“It troubles us to write this message because of the high regard we hold for our students and the joy, curiosity, and excellence with which you embrace your education every day,” the letter read. “Over the last several weeks, we have heard too many stories of selfish, inappropriate, and embarrassing student behavior at home football games. What we have heard falls short of Virginia Tech standards — and most importantly, creates an unsafe environment for all who attend.”

Student attendance for Hokies games will be “restricted to season ticket holders and a more limited number of student lottery winners,” and students will have to “follow all new guidance for gate entry.” There will also be more law enforcement officers on hand to “support a positive and safe fan experience.”

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Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister (3) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.

Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister (3) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.
(AP Photo/Matt Gentry)

“Virginia Tech is such a strong, vibrant community guided by our Principles of Community, which are always on display at our home football games in the fall,” the letter added. “This year especially, we have so much to be proud of with being back on campus and in the full swing of the semester. But this is one area where we haven’t brought our best. Let’s change that starting Saturday and remind our community that we know and honor what it means to be a Hokie.”

The new measures came amid some fans’ concerns about being trampled while entering the venue. One student detailed the chaos in a recent video. The person’s girlfriend was having a panic attack amid the brouhaha entering the stadium, and it took a while for paramedics to reach her.

Sep 3, 2021; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA;  Virginia Tech Hokies fans cheer during the second quarter against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Lane Stadium.

Sep 3, 2021; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies fans cheer during the second quarter against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Lane Stadium.
(Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

“Too many people were able to get in without a ticket, and then they just didn’t have enough people on crowd management,” Virginia Tech student Dalton Philips told WTVR-TV. “It’s to the point where, the crowd is bad enough, paramedics can’t get through, people are having panic attacks and passing out — that kind of thing can’t happen.”

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Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh play in a huge ACC matchup on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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