MEASURES TAKEN TO CLEAN UP U-M HOCKEY CROWD BEHAVIOR

     At least the University of Michigan people acknowledge there is a problem.  The atmosphere in Yost Arena in Ann Arbor for hockey games is very good and the old barn has an ambiance few other arenas around the country can duplicate.  But the student profanity which echoes off the walls is a detriment to the over all effect.  And the CCHA and the school are bound and determined to try and fix it.  I don't know if they 'll succeed but I give them credit for trying anyway.

     The CCHA has issued a release Thursday indicating that security and police will be increased for home games the remainder of the season.  An e mail has been sent to all Michigan students who attend hockey games that their profanity will no longer be tolerated and that they can be ejected from the building without warning.  Michigan has stamped warnings on the back of its tickets and made repeated announcements over the public address system and those measures will continue.  Top ranked Notre Dame plays in Ann Arbor at 7:30 Saturday night and the air once again will be electric as it was this last Saturday for Michigan State's appearance.

     But when the on ice incident near the end of the game occurred, the Michigan students jumped into the fray verbally.  Former MSU coach Ron Mason vowed he would never attend another game in Yost Arena again once he retired and he hasn't.  He was sick of the abuse from the students who are seated behind the opposing team's bench.  It will be interesting to see if the students take heed to the warnings and perhaps that will be dictated in part by how the games play out the rest of the way.

     Other arenas and stadiums have similar problems with students-- the Izzone at Michigan State has had its not so proud moments in the past.  If the new measures work at Michigan it will be interested to see if other schools try to follow suit as necessary.

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