Jeff Hathaway approves this message.
Jeff Hathaway is the garbage man: He's coming to clean up your act.
No, Hathaway hasn't become a writer for "And-1" apparel. The UConn athletic director has merely unleashed the "Husky Honor" code in order to make the world Rentschler Field and the Morgue a safer place for Huskies and their Husky friends.
Its mission statement is as follows:
"The University of Connecticut is committed to honoring collegiate athletic competition by demonstrating pride, responsibility and respect. The UConn community, fans, alumni, students, coaches and student-athletes promote these core values as proud Huskies and first class competitors."
The press release issued is pretty long-winded and wordy. But it can be summed up quite easily: Stop screwing around.
The idea, it seems, is to make UConn events happier, more family-friendly places, and Hathaway channeled his inner Tony Robbins in order to come up with the program's three basic tenets: pride, power and respect.
"The principles of 'Husky Honor' include: Pride - Wear Your Blue and White, Take your seat at Rentschler Field early and stay until the end of the game so you can cheer your team on, Have fun and cheer loudly for your Huskies; Responsibility - Refrain from the use of profanity, Dispose of trash, recycle and keep Rentschler Field clean, Socialize Responsibly; Respect - Respect all coaches, student-athletes and game officials, Respect yourself and your fellow fans, whether they are cheering for UConn or not, Respect the University of Connecticut.
I''m all for better fanhood (as well as making up words with "fan" in it). God knows we need it. Since its inception, this blog has noted how the state of fandom at UConn is pretty piss-poor, especially for football, where people show up midway through the first quarter and leave shortly after. But I'm not sure developing some type of moral code is really going to make a difference.
Unless you want enlist some type of border patrol that beats down defectors who try to bolt before the final gun, nothing is really going to change. The only way for the school to assert some authority would be taking tickets away. And while I would be for that, it kind of borders on communism. And, well, people tend to frown upon that.
Winning, and winning consistently, is the only solution here. You can create as many "laws" and steal as many traditions as you want; you can't force people to be good fans.
And the same goes for the conduct part as well: People are going to be assholes, no matter where they are.
The student section has always been a nice shade of collegiate assholeness, creating signs and yelling out funny/moderately offensive things that make adults shake their heads and grumble. And although I've never been in the general seating area, from what I've viewed from afar, it seems as though it hasn't crossed the line into New Jersey/New York pro sports fans assholeness.
I understand where the athletic department and their hired goons and their street toughs are coming from. No one likes obnoxious, belligerent drunks. Especially an AD that has the spotlight beaming down on him after allegations of major recruiting violations, the self-reporting of 17 minor infractions and the axing of the cheerleading program.
But drafting some treatise on higher moral values isn't the way to go about it.