To the Editor:
I have been following the debate in your pages over the conduct of the Yale student section at the Penn and Princeton mens’ basketball games with great interest. I must commend Luis Poza and Bobby Womack for today’s column (“Granting Yale the home-court advantage it deserves,” 2/20).
Their defense of the behavior in the stands was reasoned and articulate. I write from a somewhat different perspective. As a Yale college graduate in 1995, and now a fifth year graduate student, I have seen some pretty awful basketball teams and some desperately vacant arenas.
We used to pray for a competitive team, and for the atmosphere that would accompany a push toward the Big Dance. In fact, I can scarcely believe this season has unfolded as it has. I have taken every opportunity to support the team, and was sitting right next to the student section that has received such criticism. I didn’t hear any ethnic slurs, and feel that the heckling was kept well within the bounds of propriety. It was downright funny at times.
I have two suggestions for the basketball games next weekend.
First, the athletic department should cordon off the bleachers so that they are reserved exclusively for Yale students, thereby avoiding the potential that young children and the faint-hearted will be exposed to potentially colorful language.
And second, Yale students should come out and yell and scream and heckle and, hopefully, dance. Do it for yourselves. But do it also for all those alumni who wish they could be there with you!
Roger S. Levine ’95 GRD ’03
February 20, 2002