11-19-2006

Contact: Shelly Hoffman, (614) 571-6826

Holbrook praises team and fans after win over Michigan

COLUMBUS Ohio State University President Karen A. Holbrook today congratulated the team for its victory over the University of Michigan on Saturday evening and thanked everyone who contributed to responsible celebrations and relatively trouble-free post-game activities.

"Once again our Number One football team showed great class in its thrilling victory over the Wolverines, and our fans proved they are, indeed, 'The Best Fans in the Land,'" Holbrook said.

Holbrook credited student leaders who launched the Ohio State Sportsmanship Council and the 'Best Fans in the Land' campaign at the start of this year's football season, along with many others who worked as a team to push for responsible fan behavior.

"I also want to thank our Student Affairs staff, Athletics Department personnel, the leadership of Coach Tressel, Team Captains and all players, our university's public safety force, and the numerous law enforcement officers from the state, county and city levels. In addition, thanks go to Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman and his team for working so closely with the university to deliver a seamless public safety effort," Holbrook said.

"Our university is very proud to have a Big Ten champion football team playing for another national title," Holbrook added. "It's great that our fans have matched the effort of our young men on the field."

In addition to the 105,708 fans who attended yesterday's game, university officials estimate that as many as 80,000 people came to the university area to enjoy the game-day festivities. Following the victory, as many as 17,000 fans rushed the field, with no major injuries reported.

While there were some incidents resulting in arrests that occurred near campus during the victory celebration, campus and city police were generally pleased with the post-game behavior.

"For the second consecutive Michigan game in Columbus, we have had safe celebrations," Holbrook said. "While we will continue to look for ways to make additional improvements, we have turned the corner on fan behavior."

Months of planning by university and city officials preceded this weekend's game. Successful tactics from past years were reinstituted, and a number of new initiatives were created such as increased temporary lighting off-campus, special efforts to curb large parties, incentives to keep students on campus and enhancements to the student-led sportsmanship campaign.