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Wednesday, January 31, 2001
Maryland upset with fan behavior



COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland may ban the student tradition of tossing rolled-up newspapers onto the basketball court after the mothers of several Duke players were injured by flying debris last weekend.

Athletic director Debbie Yow is deciding what crowd-control initiatives to impose at Cole Field House for Sunday's game against Clemson.

Last Saturday, fans threw water bottles, plastic cups, coins and ice at the Duke bench after the Blue Devils came from 10 points behind with less than a minute left in regulation to beat the Terps 98-96 in overtime.

The mothers of Duke players Carlos Boozer, Jason Williams and Chris Duhon were hit by debris.

Maryland president C.D. Mote Jr. apologized to Duke, which has been a magnet for such incidents in recent years.

Yow said the school may ban the newspaper toss as a result. Traditionally, students sitting behind and to the right of the visiting bench mock that team by holding up newspapers while their players are introduced.

When the introductions are over, students roll the newspaper pages into balls and throw them at the team.

Yow said a postgame videotape shows about 100 students throwing debris toward Duke players for about 50 seconds.

"It was an embarrassment to all who value civility and love this great institution. This behavior cannot and will not be tolerated," she said.

Yow said ice and batteries have been wrapped in some tossed newspapers.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has not brought his family to Cole Field House for a number of years, largely because of the abuse by Maryland fans.

"The worst thing you can do is throw objects," he said.

Terps coach Gary Williams and Yow wrote open letters set to appear in Wednesday's edition of The Diamondback campus newspaper.

Yow and Williams also criticized crowd chants and the wearing of shirts with obscene Duke references.

Williams supports a zero-tolerance approach to ending the tradition.

"I don't understand why our fans think they can throw anything on the court, when it's not done anywhere else in the country," he said.

"We've worked too hard to bring this basketball program up from an embarrassing situation. I don't need idiots throwing stuff on the court, to take something away from what we've tried to do here."
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Maryland president apologizes for 'hooliganism' following Duke game




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