UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull wrote a letter to students asking for their support during the football game Saturday against Rice, and also explaining the reason behind the tailgating rules. Excerpt:
We have always encouraged tailgating on our campus – that's what makes the UTEP football game day experience special! ... Unfortunately, in recent years this safe environment has been threatened, particularly with the influx of underage drinkers on campus. We have found that many people are coming to our campus just to party and aren't even going to the game. ...
The UTEP athletic department, in conjunction with university police, is working very hard to eliminate underage drinking and re-install a safe tailgating atmosphere on campus. But in the meantime, in the best interest of all of our students – including those who have classes on game day – we have had no choice but to push the inner campus tailgating start time back two hours.
I've complained in the past that the rules seemed excessive. But after seeing some of the out-of-control drinking Stull is talking about, I've changed my tune.
And, quite frankly, I appreciate the honest explanation from Stull. That was something that was lacking when the rules were first unveiled last season. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new trend of UTEP being honest and open with the media and the public.
Students and fans over in Las Cruces are REALLY putting on the pressure for the team to win. Forget about booing (of which I heard none last Saturday during NMSU's game against Boise St.), someone is going after players where it really hurts.
According to this story by SportsbyBrooks, fliers were posted around the NMSU campus today asking Las Cruces women to not give any, ummm, "love" to NMSU football players until they win a game. The censored flier can be seen at left.
If that doesn't inspire the Aggies to beat New Mexico, nothing will.