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Monday, June 25, 2018

Staff Editorial

Texas A&M bus incident overblown, still wrong


The Daily Cougar editorial board used this space Monday to criticize those responsible for vandalizing the buses of the Texas A&M football team before their game against Texas Tech.

Since then, reports have surfaced that the claims were exaggerated.

It is not the intention of The Daily Cougar to mislead readers. However, we stand behind the editorial. Regardless of how A&M’s bus was vandalized, sports do not warrant such childish and criminal behavior.

Texas Tech released a statement yesterday saying that its investigation found that paint was not used — it was washable shoe polish. The substance found inside A&M’s bus was fish bait, not animal manure.

“While incidents such as the ones alleged are inappropriate and strongly condemned by Texas Tech, it is no less wrong to condemn the entirety of our university, students and supporters by posting inaccurate information on the internet for the purpose of sensationalizing the actions of one or a very few,” the release said.

The incident was first made public in a tweet from A&M’s Director of Athletics Bill Byrne.

Tech’s release said everything had been cleaned up before Byrne’s tweet, and then called him “careless.”

This shows the dangers of social media, and the ability to instantly share information. If Byrne did not see the scope of the damage, then the prematurity of his tweet was irresponsible.

But the type of bait involved in a prank like this undoubtedly has an unpleasant odor, and its appearance could have been easily confused with manure. It may not have been excrement, but the purpose was to create an uncomfortable atmosphere.

There was no police report filed, and there is little visual evidence. But NBC affiliate KCBD received confirmation yesterday from hotel officials that Texas A&M’s bus was indeed defaced.

Specific details have changed, but that should not belittle the intentions of the vandals. The destruction of property is immature and unlawful, and doing it in the name of a rivalry demonstrates a lack of sportsmanship — whether it was the “actions of one or very few,” they should all be reprimanded.

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