April 14, 2005

West Virginia expels 11 students for rowdy behavior

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia expelled 11 students and disciplined several others for setting street fires, public drunkenness and other rowdy behavior after two Mountaineer games in the NCAA basketball tournament.

Disciplinary measures ranged from probation to suspension, the university said Thursday.

About 50 street fires were set and police were used Mace to control crowds after West Virginia defeated Texas Tech 65-60 on March 24 in a regional semifinal. The victory moved the Mountaineers to the regional finals for the first time since Jerry West led them to the championship game in 1959.

No one was seriously injured although several firefighters were hit by bottles or cans. Street fires also were set after the Mountaineers lost to Louisville 93-85 in the regional final March 26.

Sixteen students have been charged or cited for alleged participation the postgame chaos.

``Unfortunately, bad fan behavior has become a problem nationwide,'' said Ken Gray, vice president for student affairs. ``We in Morgantown will not tolerate it, and will do everything we can to keep the spotlight on the success of our teams and the safety and enjoyment of the thousands of loyal, responsible fans.''

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