UMCP told to be tough on rowdy students

Regents seek to send message about incidents after Final Four loss

April 07, 2001|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,SUN STAFF

The Board of Regents told the administration of the University of Maryland, College Park to take the strongest possible action against students who participated in incidents of unrest after last Saturday's basketball loss to Duke in the Final Four.

"As proud as we are of the accomplishments of the basketball season, we are equally outraged, chagrined and disappointed with the actions of this small number of students," said Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, a 5th District Democrat and the regent who introduced the resolution approved at yesterday's meeting. "We need to send a clear and unambiguous message that this behavior is unacceptable."

In the resolution, the regents call for the school to "take the strongest action allowed by its disciplinary policies, consistent with the facts and circumstances of individual cases, if it identifies students or employees involved in these incidents."

The board, meeting at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, asked for a report from university officials on the investigation and expressed regrets to the College Park community.

Linda Clement, the dean of students at UMCP, told the regents that two students have been referred for possible disciplinary action - up to expulsion - and that the investigation continues. Prince George's County police have charged Josh Weidman, a 23-year-old junior who is a member of the wrestling team, with malicious burning and destruction.

Student regent Kevin Oxendine, a junior at UMCP, said student groups had been active in condemning and investigating the incidents. "These actions are not representative of the quality, character or nature of the vast majority of students," he said.

Several hundred students roamed the campus and the College Park area after the game March 31, setting numerous fires.

One fire ignited a fiber-optic cable owed by Comcast Cable television company, causing damage estimated at $200,000 to $300,000. Regent David Nevins, who is president of Comcast SportsNet, abstained from the vote.

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