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Thursday News Overload: Massive riot outside University of Maryland bars

Jenna Johnson

After the University of Maryland basketball team beat Duke late Wednesday night, hundreds of rancorous, cheering students poured out of College Park bars and mobbed Route 1 in the university's first riot in more than four years. Students yelled obscenities about Duke, danced, threw shoes and beer cans, took down street signs and lit things on fire, The Diamondback reports.

Horse-mounted police in full riot gear moved up and down Route 1, trying to clear the street. Students taunted the police's encroach, cheering, "Defense! Defense!" and "Let's go Maryland." At about midnight, there was a helicopter overhead and police pulled out pepper spray, scattering the mob temporarily.

But then police pulled out the ultimate weapon: their arrest power. Police filled several Prince George's County Police paddy wagons, and within 20 minutes the street was cleared, The Diamondback reports. A university police spokesman estimates the crowd reached about 1,500 but wouldn't say how many students had been arrested. Authorities also had to extinguish a tree that had been set on fire and trash can fires, the Post Now blog reports.

"Apparently, a regular season win over the No. 4 team allows thousands of people to come out and block roadways and start fires -- and that's disappointing, to say the least," the spokesman told The Diamondback.

This was the first College Park riot for many students, but not the most destructive one in the university's history. In 2001, after the Terrapin basketball team lost a Final Four match-up against Duke, students burned couches and tore Ludwig Field's soccer goals from the ground, carried them to Fraternity Row and lit them ablaze. After the campus' most recent riot in 2006, university officials tightened rioting punishments, the Diamondback reports.

A sophomore business major told the Diamondback he had heard of the university's uproarious reputation before he sent in his college applications. Wednesday night's show of jubilation and destruction exceeded his lofty expectations."I knew we'd be down here partying, but look at this place, we're running a rampage through Route 1," he said.

The Washington Post D.C. Sports Bog has tons of photos and a video from the riot.

Crack for books
Two George Mason University bookstore employees have been arrested for stealing textbooks, reselling them at a used bookstore and using the money to purchase crack cocaine, the Broadside reports. Yeah, textbooks have gotten that expensive. The Post's Crime Scene blog also did a (rather interesting) write-up of the textbooks-for-crack scheme.

Texas team building
Texas A&M University-Commerce's head football coach had an idea for a team building exercise in late February: Have his team run around campus and take all of the free copies of The East Texan student newspaper, which contained a story about two players being arrested in a drug bust. Coach Guy Morriss took responsibility for the paper-seizing heist and made no apologies. "I'm proud of my players for doing that," he told The East Texan. "This was the best team building exercise we have ever done. Athletic Director Carlton Cooper said he didn't thinking the players planned the theft, because "I don't think they are smart enough to do this on their own."

Get counted to get enrolled
The University of Kansas is requiring students to complete the state census before enrollment begins March 25 or a hold will be placed on their account. Seniors will not have a hold placed on graduation, but are still expected to complete it, The Daily Kansan reports. Kansas is one of the only states to administer its own state census, and state officials have required the university to have 100 percent completion so it could correctly redistrict state legislative districts.

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By Jenna Johnson  |  March 4, 2010; 7:42 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags: Texas A&M, University of Kansas, University of Maryland  
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