What: Colorado-Colorado State football game
When: 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Folsom Field
More info: To purchase tickets, visit CUBuffs.com or call 800-87-BUFFS.
University of Colorado athletics officials have closed a loophole this year that previously allowed students who’d been ejected from CU football games to return to the next one.
New language in the student season ticket-holder agreement will allow officials to bar ejected students from all games until the Office of Judicial Affairs hears their case — and decides whether to ban them.
It’s not a new policy, said Tom McGann, director of game management and operations. But it’s one that’s been tough to enforce in recent years because of a change in the way students gain entry to games. In the past, a disclaimer was printed on the back of students’ paper tickets. When athletics moved from issuing paper tickets to swiping students’ Buff One cards, that disclaimer disappeared.
This year, it’s back. Students who click to agree to the terms of purchasing $110 football season tickets online are also acknowledging the consequences of misbehaving on game day, McGann said.
Tightening the rules around game-day ejections is just one way CU is gearing up for this year’s football season — and Sunday’s big game against rival Colorado State University.
The season opener, which starts at 5 p.m. Sunday, has the potential to inspire some um, raucous celebration.
“You’ve got several converging circumstances,” said CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard. “You’ve got a holiday weekend. You’ve got a rival university up the road … You’ve got a night-game kick-off. (These) are obviously things we need to plan for and have contingencies for.”
CU police Cmdr. Tim McGraw said his department plans to staff Folsom Field at a level consistent with previous big games, though he did not reveal exactly how many officers will be on hand. In general, he said the police don’t plan to approach the game any differently than usual.
“Our approach is that we’re going to react to what we face,” he said.
Historically, many of the people who are ejected from football games are removed for alcohol-related reasons, he said. Last year, the lowest number of ejections at a game was 18, McGraw said. The highest was 105, at the last game of the season. Of those, he said, 96 were related to alcohol.
CU officials will send e-mails to all students this week reminding them to stay safe and to be gracious hosts to their counterparts at CSU, Hilliard said.
“They want to beat us. We want to beat them. But all that stuff is on the field,” he said. “So we’re going to take seriously any issues of confrontation.
“A little good-natured verbal ribbing is part of the experience, but anything that escalates beyond that, we’re going to be looking for.”
CU freshman Katie Gratrix is already familiar with the CU-CSU rivalry. A pre-journalism major from Highlands Ranch, Gratrix grew up watching the games on TV with her parents, both CSU alums. But this is the first year she’ll be at the actual game, likely donning a CU T-shirt and face paint.
“Boulder is going to be so insane,” she said. “It’s a good way to start” my time at CU.
It’s also a good way to end it, according to senior Zach Lundgren — “with a bang.”