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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Football

Controversy ensues after student-security altercations at football game


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Altercations between students and security post-game have added some controversy to the Cougars conference title win. | File photo/The Cougar

UPDATE – 10:07 a.m.: Contemporary Services Corporation, the company that employs security officers at UH events, has issued a statement about the altercations at Saturday’s game.

“Contemporary Services Corporation is aware of the events that occurred following today’s University of Houston football game,” CSC said in their statement. “Training is provided to CSC employees for responding to such situations. Any actions by CSC personnel that contradict our training, CSC’s other requirements or the law, are not condoned by CSC and will not be tolerated. We are currently performing an investigation of the events and will take appropriate action based on the outcome of our investigation.”

Original – 10:45 p.m.: UH students are expressing high levels of concern after a number of physical altercations between Contemporary Services Corporation security officers and UH fans after the Cougars 24-13 win over Temple University.

Following the end of the game, students began to rush the field to celebrate with the team, but some security officers stationed on the field took to using physical force to stop the students.

Saturday afternoon and evening, a number of videos emerged online of employees of CSC tackling students jumping from the student section to the field, including one guard tackling a student and punching him in the head.

Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Hunter Yurachek issued a statement on Saturday night about the videos and altercations.

“After viewing initial videos of today’s postgame activity, I am extremely disappointed and angered with the actions taken by employed by our security contractor CSC,” Yurachek said. “We are working with the University of Houston police to review today’s activities and will take swift and appropriate action including the termination of our current contract with CSC and any legal action deemed necessary.”

Student Government Association President Shaun Theriot-Smith commended the university on their quick action.

“The actions of the select security guards at today’s was unacceptable,” Theriot-Smith said. “I’m very pleased with how swiftly Athletics and the University has moved to fix this.”

Theriot-Smith did say that UH did not want fans to rush the field following the game.

“Since this was a AAC game, and not UH, the administration was adamant about asking fans to not rush the field at this game,” Theriot-Smith said.

He also said that this issue is about more than just the actions of CSC.

“I think a larger conversation needs to take place about sportsmanship and the behavior we demonstrate as a student body and a fan base,” Theriot-Smith said. “By and large, there is an incredible amount of class and professionalism displayed by this campus at sporting events. But we must do better to hold all of our peers accountable to that same standard. Let’s not tarnish the incredible effort and dedication of our players and staff by the poor conduct of fellow fans.”

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