UM issues apology for taking down stadium signs Ban of anti-Duffner placards 'contrary to free expression'

November 19, 1996|By Paul McMullen

COLLEGE PARK -- The University of Maryland has issued an apology over the removal of negative signs directed toward coach Mark Duffner during the Terps' 13-10 victory over Georgia Tech last Thursday at Byrd Stadium.

The statement reads:

"The University regrets that members of its game management staff indicated to spectators during the Nov. 14, 1996, football game that unless signs urging the removal of Coach Mark Duffner were taken down, they would have to leave the stadium.

"While this was done in the spirit of supporting Coach Duffner, his family and our team, it was contrary to the University's long-held commitment to free expression. We hope that the persons affected will accept our apologies."

Athletic director Debbie Yow, who supported the negative sign ban, yesterday said: "We follow all university policies, including this one. Now that I'm aware of the policy, I will follow it in the future."

Michael Tucker, a season-ticket holder who was told to remove a sign that read "Enough of the Duff," said, "I'm glad that they issued that statement, and I'll accept the apology."

Pub Date: 11/19/96

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