Censorship in Charlottesville
What's going on in the C-wealth? First Va. Tech bans harmless chants, and then UVA bans harmless signs? C-wealth people, lighten up. We're talking about football here.
Check out this column in the Cavalier Daily, which details the plight of engineering student David Becker, whose repeated attempts to flash "Groh Must Go" signs last week (including one made with "scraps of poster board," whatever that means) finally led to a warning that he would be kicked out if he didn't cool it with the signs.
"I wanted to show my feelings and the feelings of others," Becker said. "I wasn't causing any problems. I love the team. I'm always the first one there for football and basketball games, but when you have a coach who's not performing up to expectations, you want people to know. You should be able to hold up a sign."
When asked to comment, Jason Bauman, associate director of athletics for facilities and operations, said the move was consistent with venue policy restricting "derogatory" signs.
Derogatory? "Groh is an arrogant blowhard whose departure will not be missed" would be derogatory. "Groh smells like toe cheese" would be derogatory. "Groh must go" is an imperative, expressing a deep-seated desire. You can say you don't like it, but I don't see how you can call it derogatory.
The CD columnist brought up one of the all-time great Groh quotes: "I understand fans," Groh said last fall. "I don't think fans understand coaches. I fly on a lot of airplanes. Just because I fly on airplanes doesn't qualify me to be a pilot."
Which is true, but it also reminded me of this more recent Groh quote:
"Any time you don't get the results that you want it would be arrogant to say that you think things are perfect," the coach said. "Arrogance is one of the first steps toward failure."
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