In light of Saturday night’s disorder, the University of Kentucky’s President, Dr. Eli Capilouto, has written an email, asking his student body to behave in a responsible manner if the basketball team beats Kansas later tonight. Considering how UK fans acted after beating Louisville, Dr Capilouto’s words will likely fall on deaf ears, but he did go on record concerning any potential punishments.
The content of the email is as follows. The added emphasis is ours:
The excitement over Saturday’s victory against the Cardinals was quickly dampened by the irresponsible and destructive behavior of some UK students and community members. The illegal and dangerous actions of a small minority detracted from honoring the student-athletes who have worked tirelessly to represent UK at a national level.
Celebration of our team’s achievement is important. But when our actions endanger the lives of students, neighbors, law enforcement, and safety officials, we’ve crossed a critical line. Illegal behavior that jeopardizes the safety and well-being of others will not be tolerated, and those who cross that line will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law and, where applicable, The Code of Student Conduct.
We have the opportunity to make history by winning our eighth national championship. Moreover, we have the chance to change the poor perception created by the civil unrest Saturday night and show the world that we are a leading Flagship and Land Grant Research University.
I implore you to be safe, be respectful, and don’t be stupid.
University of Kentucky
From this student’s perspective, while the “don’t be stupid” stands out, the idea of punishing those who “cross the line” not only with legal action, but with the student’s code of conduct should provide a clear enough warning. That is, if you act a fool and get caught, aside from legal punishment, there’s a good chance you won’t be attending the university, either.
Dr Capilouto’s words were essentially echoed by the Lexington Police Department, which offered a statement about any upcoming celebration shenanigans:
“The most difficult challenges came from those in the State Street area,” [Chief Ronnie] Bastin said. “The behavior of many of those people … was dangerous, criminal and unacceptable. This behavior cannot be tolerated and will not be tolerated.”
There’s a not-so-fine line between celebrating a highly-anticipated win and trying to burn a neighborhood down because your team won. Hopefully, if the situation warrants, most of the UK students will be on the sensible side, but if Saturday night serves as any indication, it may be another long night for the Lexington Police Department.