MSU Officials, Students: No Major Changes After 'Shove'

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

Michigan State University officials and leaders of the "Izzone" student section say they aren't planning major security changes after last weekend's shoving incident between a University of Michigan player and an MSU fan.

The controversy started last Saturday when the Michigan player, Amadou Ba, shoved an apparently intoxicated Michigan State fan. The fan wandered past security and onto the court.

Wednesday marked the first home game since the incident.

"Izzone" fan Mark Kenyon got to the 8 p.m. game at roughly 5:30 p.m.

"Two and a half hours before the game, helping out," Kenyon said.

He's a leader in the student section at the Breslin Center.

Kenyon says he doesn't see the need to make any changes after last weekend's shoving incident.

"It's been pretty safe through the other games. Everyone's been pretty responsible," he said.

The student involved in the "shove" was intoxicated, something that violates the contract Izzone fans sign at the beginning of each season.

"Privileges can be taken away from an 'Izzone' member so you can't sit there any more and stuff," Kenyon said.

The students say alcohol hasn't been a big factor in the izzone.

"I don't think drinking is an issue like at the football games," student Steve Kilchenman said.

Breathalyzers may have been able to stop the drunken fan from getting in. "Izzone" leaders say they don't see too much point to them.

"They take way too much time (and do) little good," Kenyon said.

Some ideas for tighter security are floating around the campus, like prohibiting students from having certain types of signs that might be used to taunt players.

Where does the university itself stand?

Vice President for Community Relations Terry Denbow says MSU doesn't plan any big changes.

"You don't make blanket policies" for an incident that isn't a trend, Denbow said.

He says the school did review procedures in light of the incident, but:

"We review security and game day management after every game," Denbow said.

He says the review prompted some security changes at the game, ones you might not notice.

"No visible stepped up (effort). Some fine tuning. But this was not an incident that called for major overhaul," Denbow said.

What kind of fine tuning are we talking about? Denbow says he can't divulge details on security procedures.

A spokeswoman for the Michigan State University Police Department says the department did put an officer on the floor.

The Big Ten Conference suspended both the Michigan player and the student involved in last weekend's shoving incident for a game and a half.


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