CSC response to confrontation not sufficient

Last week, The Eagle reported on an incident at the CSC men’s home basketball game, Nov. 10, against Texas A&M – Kingsville. With about two minutes remaining in the game, a relative of a Chadron player aggressively confronted Myles Busby, color-commentator for the CSC Live streamed broadcast, about remarks Busby made about the player. The confrontation, which included other members of the spectator’s party, continued past the end of the game.

As a member of the media covering that game, and a witness to the events, I am disappointed in the college’s response to the incident.

CSC’s response was too-little-too-late as the incident unfolded, partly because campus security and Chadron police, who would normally be present near the end of the game, were not  at their posts. According to Chadron’s KCSR radio station, Chadron Police Chief Tim Lordino apologized to CSC President Randy Rhine for that oversight.

Replying to questions about possible sanctions for the spectator, CSC Director of Athletics Joel Smith said in an email that the athletic department had “received apologies from the individuals involved and considers this situation resolved.”

Not good enough.

What the aggressive spectator and other members of his party did that Saturday night is highly inappropriate and deserving of sanctions.

According to at least three witnesses, the gentleman confronted Busby aggressively, and using vulgar language, challenged the color-commentator physically.

After the game, that gentleman’s cohorts took a second turn at Busby courtside. Their actions also should not go unpunished.

I understand and appreciate that the situation was difficult, and the absence of security confounded the problem, but the college has not taken sufficient disciplinary action against the spectators to dissuade others from doing the same at future games or events.

Wednesday, I asked Director of College Relations Alex Helmbrecht to provide me with CSC’s policies governing spectator conduct. In an email, Helmbrecht said that the college reads a sportsmanship code prior to each athletic event. That left me wondering whether CSC possesses formal policies governing spectator behavior.

A search of NSCS policies yielded nothing. A search of CSC’s policies yielded nothing. Perhaps it’s time college officials think about it.

While they’re thinking about it, CSC should consider requiring more than just an apology, and apply sanctions equally to all offenders regardless of whether they are a fan, a relative of a CSC player or a financial contributor to the college.

Those spectators verbally accosted a member of the media at a CSC event, in a CSC venue.

In a national environment that is increasingly aggressive toward media, allowing the actions to go unpunished is a glaring mistake that must be rectified. Anything less is a disservice to members of the media, especially CSC students and staff, who cover college events.

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