What should UGA do about tailgating troublemakers?

UGA students want the tailgate tents to return to North Campus. (Photo by Bill King)

UGA students want the tailgate tents to return to North Campus. (Photo by Bill King)

The issue of what to do about tailgating before football games at UGA reared its head again this week.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported that while students want the school to ease up on restrictions imposed last season on tailgating on the historic North Campus, the administration instead may crack down on tailgaters in other parts of campus.

The Student Government Association has asked the university to drop the prohibition of tents and tables longer than 4 feet and the rule of no tailgating on campus until four hours before kickoff. The ban on kegs, televisions, grills or other cookers, generators and household furniture such as couches on North Campus would remain in place under the student proposal.

The restrictions were put in place after UGA was embarrassed by the continued trashing of North Campus and the damage left behind by fans during the 2009 season, which had a lot of night games that extended the tailgating period.

This past season all the home games except the last one had early starts, so there weren’t as many folks looking to tailgate anyway. In the wake of the restrictions, the new ground zero for tailgaters moved to the Meyers quad off Lumpkin Street on South Campus. I cut through there before several games and the area was pretty packed, looking like the North Campus of old with all the tents set up.

And that’s where the possibility of expanded restrictions comes in.

Speaking of the Meyers quad, George Stafford, the university vice president in charge of game day activities, told the Banner-Herald, “We were unhappy with what went on over there, particularly at the last game.” During the daylong tailgating before the Dogs’ only night home game Nov. 27 against Georgia Tech, he said, someone pulled a couch from a nearby residence hall and set it on fire.

And other idiots drove beer bottles into the ground, then broke them, exposing jagged glass. Guess they got tired of playing beer pong.

So what should UGA administrators do about controlling tailgating?

Last season’s restrictions pretty much killed it on North Campus, as about all that was left as an option was a picnic basket and blanket on the ground. That suited UGA officials, who worried the historic green space was being ruined by the game day crush. As I’ve said before, probably the only way full-scale tailgating ever will return to North Campus is on a paid basis.

If the same restrictions on tailgating are applied to the Meyers quad, the result likely will be the same … the tailgaters will move elsewhere on campus. And then what? As the Dawgs Online blog put it this week, the university “can’t keep playing whack-a-mole every year to react to where the mess pops up next.”

Campuswide restrictions like those on North Campus aren’t a realistic option. Tailgating can’t be driven off campus because it has nowhere to go, so UGA needs to deal with it in a way that allows responsible fans to socialize before a game without letting the idiot fringe act like the trash they leave behind.

At the same time, it doesn’t do any good to appeal to tailgaters to act more responsibly, because alcohol and tailgating are inextricably linked, and the ones causing the problems are so drunk they barely know what they’re doing anyway.

It would seem like a reasonable solution would be to have a visible presence of UGA police in the vicinity of tailgating hot spots like Meyers quad and have them patrol regularly and deal with those tailgaters who get out of hand, leaving the others to enjoy themselves as long as they do so responsibly.

Tailgating is a part of the college football experience. Trying to stamp it out ultimately might hurt attendance at games.

What do you think the solution is?

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

174 comments Add your comment

pdxdawg

January 29th, 2011
11:29 am

good article bill

HPerry

January 29th, 2011
11:44 am

It is a shame that a few bad apples spoil it for the whole bunch. Tailgating is certainly part of the game day experience. Do they want everyone to stay home and watch on TV?

dawggone

January 29th, 2011
11:57 am

You have to be responsible for your actions…the trash and drunks..etc… kill it for all.

larry

January 29th, 2011
11:59 am

Don’t want glass bottles? Allow kegs. Don’t want full kegs? Only allow pony kegs. Don’t want either of those? Allow Cans only. Don’t allow drinking at all? People will bring liquor anyway…just like inside the stadium.

I think there are only 2 solutions left:

1. No more home games. We just play in everyone else’s stadium. Nobody would leave any trash then. And think what that would do to Richt’s stellar Away record.

2. Kill all the tailgaters. Have the A/CC police department wear riot gear and carry automatic assault rifles. Everytime they see someone wearing red smiling on game day–they open fire.

AltamahaDawg

January 29th, 2011
12:02 pm

Bringing back tables and tents, seems like a good compromise. That level of restriction was obviously to make a point, that needed to be made. I had said last year I figured those restriction would ease up over time to allow tailgating after the habit of setting up a giant party and trashing the grounds had been interupted. Setting up a TV lounges with couches and kegs was always a stupid idea to allow in the first place. The university basically breed this problem by not having some common sense restrictions years ago.

But now, you allow tailgating in some form or you don’t. A chair and a basket is the don’t, may as well ban it completely. Fee paid spots is still the simpliest solution.

I’m still wondering who these people are that tailgate and leave all their trash.

larry

January 29th, 2011
12:08 pm

We never leave any trash…we pack it out, like camping. Plus we respect our school.

The main problem is that Adams wants all the benefits of football fans without any of the trouble they cause. You can’t have it both ways.

TROJAN

January 29th, 2011
12:09 pm

Hire a few people at minimum wage to clean it up!

Rook

January 29th, 2011
12:12 pm

Allow private companies to setup individual tailgates with a percentage of their fee going directly to UGA. These companies have done a great job of setting up and cleaning up in the past.

Remarkable

January 29th, 2011
12:14 pm

Your solution is so full of common sense that it will of course be ignored. Too bad. After all, whose policing the new rules anyway?

A reasonable solution would be to have a visible presence of UGA police in the vicinity of tailgating hot spots like Meyers quad and have them patrol regularly and deal with those tailgaters who get out of hand, leaving the others to enjoy themselves as long as they do so responsibly.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Go UGA Football!!, Aleah , Will Burgess, Gordo, AJC Junkyard Blawg and others. AJC Junkyard Blawg said: What should UGA do about tailgating troublemakers? http://bit.ly/eAK3o6 [...]

heyberto

January 29th, 2011
12:21 pm

I’ve long said the school doesn’t do enough to encourage responsible tailgating. Trash cans fill up quickly on long days i have yet to see anyone come around to empty and replace. Some game day ‘dumpsters’ in strategic locations would help, as would providing more places to use bathrooms. I know why they started locking buildings, but that took away legitimate places to relieve yourself. Heightened police presence seems essential to crack down on the ‘passing-through population’, that don’t make a spot for themselves, but dump trash along the way. More facilities that allow people to get the conveniences they can’t pack out with them because they have to park 5 miles away from where they tailgate. If they want a response, they have to make the process easier for it’s ‘constituents’ that come from far out of town just to support the school. Mutual respect is the operative word and I love the ‘whack a mole’ analogy that the university has relied upon and needs to change.

Matt

January 29th, 2011
12:29 pm

The administration should look at other schools that seem to handle tailgating issues just fine. “The Grove” at Ole Miss comes to mind. I’ve never attended a game there but they apparently manage to keep things under control.

59bulldawg

January 29th, 2011
12:36 pm

I don’t have a clue on this one except perhaps to hire an army of security guards with the power to arrest folks. I know it’s not realistic but the fellas who drove beer bottles into the ground and then broke them need a good old fashioned a$$ whipping.

maddawg

January 29th, 2011
12:44 pm

hey, here’s an idea……how about seeing what the the other sec schools who aren’t having these type problems are doing.

There is just as much tailgaiting going on at Auburn, UT, and Fla, etc…and they also have intoxicated people. I don’t leave trash nor do the people I associate with. If you stop tailgaiting I for one will not attend anymore and I suspect I am far from the only one who feels this way.

I refuse to believe there is not a better solution than this. Not to long ago it was pretty common to see someone driving with a beer but now there are DUI hotlines posted on the highways and the penalties are much stiffer and everyone has a cell phone. They didn’t take away cars to fix the problem.

Adams,

there’s a fly, grab your elephant gun and take aim!!!!!!!!

maddawg

January 29th, 2011
12:47 pm

Matt,

I didn’t see your post @ 12:29 before I sent mine; I agree with you!!!

Bobby

January 29th, 2011
12:57 pm

As much as I hate UGA it is unfortunate some fans are not using common sense and risk the tailgating experience becoming less so for fans and visitors alike. When I visit Clemson and FSU for away games I don’t notice a lot of trash after their games although I’m sure there is some; No idea how they handle cleanup.

Bite Me

January 29th, 2011
12:57 pm

Its a matter of having respect for your school and showing a level of responsibility for your actions. The Dawg Nation has shown that they have had neither over the last few years. A few bad apples? I think not.

To TROJAN, typical racist caucasian response. Please continue to use them (TROJANS) as you try to procreate, the world needs a few less apathetic, village idiots.

larry

January 29th, 2011
1:03 pm

Hey Bite Me…I read Trojan’s post and nothing about race was mentioned. Minimum wage has nothing to do with race you over-sensitive putz.

I’ll bet Trojan meant we should hire the cheapest labor available to clean up. Would it have made any difference to you if Trojan said “We should pay some people $500 an hour to pick up the trash.” Is that racist too?

Jerry Blooger

January 29th, 2011
1:07 pm

How did you get this job Bill??

SSIgator

January 29th, 2011
1:10 pm

What’s the matter Bill? In a bad mood today?

mta56

January 29th, 2011
1:11 pm

Sorry folks but MOST of this was done by worthless irresponsible students & their guests. I doubt pulling out the couch from a residence hall & setting it on fire was done by fans! Make the rich parents of these dumpy kids hire & pay private contractors to police the area’s & clean up after the game. They have always paid for their brats to be lazy anyway!

spank da butt

January 29th, 2011
1:22 pm

The ol’ cane across the back of the thighs would clean up many of these kids. I will volunteer to handle the coed’s. :)

Dawg Tired

January 29th, 2011
1:25 pm

If you can get arrested for driving the wrong way down a seldom used alley, why can’t folks who can not conduct themselves with common decency be arrested?

Dawg Tired

January 29th, 2011
1:26 pm

I’m assuming littering is still illegal and finable at a fairly steep rate.

Dawg Tired

January 29th, 2011
1:28 pm

Jerry Blogger – I doubt it pays enough to worry about.

Anyone... anyone... anyone?

January 29th, 2011
1:43 pm

When the UGA students are mostly a bunch of semi-literate drunks, and the players are felons and other assorted miscreants, why would anyone expect the fans to be any different?

Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain

January 29th, 2011
1:48 pm

UGA = The Cesspool of the South.

War Eagle!!!

HOUDAWG

January 29th, 2011
1:52 pm

Hey TROJAN ……. you want a job at minimum wage ??

Hey Larry …… careful with the ” kill the tailgaters ” …… you’ll have the new ” civility police ” on your ass !

Sick of Adams

January 29th, 2011
1:52 pm

More portable toilets. More trash cans. Empty trash cans during the day for night games. More police patrolling the hot areas. Common sense! But wait, Michael doesn’t possess any of that!

will

January 29th, 2011
1:54 pm

how about the administration try communicating with the fanbase to self-regulate first. Increase police patrols and implore the fans to tell officers of those who get out of hand. this empowers those who are most affected, namely the responsable fans who know how to have a great time without getting black out drunk, and allows the administration to have a reasonable excuse for placing restrictions if things continue to get out of hand. Thus a move to more restrictive policies will be viewed for what it should be, protection for the beauty of one of the greatest places in the southeast, and protection for the fans rather than unilateral oppression. Send an email to every alumnus and student. Hell, send an email every month communicating the universities position and why they are acting as they are. Communication is everything!

2010nationalchamps

January 29th, 2011
1:56 pm

“Sorry folks but MOST of this was done by worthless irresponsible students & their guests. I doubt pulling out the couch from a residence hall & setting it on fire was done by fans!”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ahahahahaahaahaaa. So, UGA does have the same problem as UF and Bama! True fans didn’t go to the school. They were born into it and live it with their blood and jean shorts. Thanks for making that clear, mta56.

Also, the UGA administration has ruined gameday already. They will see to it that it is eventually destroyed altogether.

Ceasar

January 29th, 2011
2:00 pm

Typical cesspool school behavior! Admit it, Bill!!!

UGA student

January 29th, 2011
2:07 pm

The students aren’t the problem here. The problem is the inbred hillbillies who have no connection to the university that the football program attracts.

Steve Spurrier

January 29th, 2011
2:12 pm

was,is, and forever will be my beeotch. Please keep CMR and Adams…

AltamahaDawg

January 29th, 2011
2:15 pm

Well it can’t be that simple, the AJC hasn’t been able to figure out how to stop the same problem on thier blogs.

Jackson

January 29th, 2011
2:38 pm

Ask Billy Payne and Masters Tournament officials for advice on how to control patrons, end of story!

AU Fan

January 29th, 2011
2:45 pm

Funny, I’ve never seen any significant amount of trash on the ground on rowdy fan behavior at Auburn games. Hmmm.

Ralph

January 29th, 2011
2:45 pm

Stop recruiting non-student thugs, and maybe more actual students and alumni will attend instead of the classless run of the mill red-neck gangbangers.

@Steve Spurrier

January 29th, 2011
2:46 pm

Your 2-4 against Richt while coaching S. Carolina, you lose 5 games every year.

jdawgs34

January 29th, 2011
2:47 pm

I am getting ready to mail contribution, guess a phone call will do over the Prez office to see…..maybe they will respond…..no tailgating means no higher contribution….period

Bawney Fwank

January 29th, 2011
2:52 pm

What they need is a damn good public wickin’!

Dawg89

January 29th, 2011
2:56 pm

Arrest and prosecute those who break the law. Seems like a pretty simple solution.

forbes 2nd most profitable program

January 29th, 2011
2:56 pm

can’t find a few bucks to remove the trash (drunks included)?

sounds like adams & co. are pretty greedy

woo - #1 party school

January 29th, 2011
3:02 pm

Dear UGA student,

The fact that you decided to attend the #1 party school tells me that you have other priorities and cannot be taken seriously. There’s no way I will ever hire a UGA graduate…

1eyedJack

January 29th, 2011
3:16 pm

Which would be cheaper, more cops or more trash men? Yet another fine tradition that will fall by the wayside because of society’s lack of respect and personal responsibility.

1eyedJack

January 29th, 2011
3:17 pm

You could hang a few perpetrators to make an example.

Did you even go to school there?

January 29th, 2011
3:19 pm

It’s spelled MYERS (not named for the erstwhile Florida coach). For God’s sake, can we get someone who actually went to school there to blog the UGA beat.

mta56

January 29th, 2011
3:21 pm

To all you jerk students who love to get in the crowded parking lot & throw a football 30 to 40 yard & hit peoples cars! This happen to me & I took out knife & cut the football to pieces. I’l do it again!

mta56

January 29th, 2011
3:26 pm

UGAstudent says, “The students aren’t the problem here. The problem is the inbred hillbillies who have no connection to the university that the football program attracts”. What a moron. Its sad FOOLS like you are going to be the future of this country! Bet mommy & daddy gots lots of money & you are a gold digger!

Ralph

January 29th, 2011
3:35 pm

What a sorry image thUGA projects for our state. Thank goodness for Emory and Georgia Tech!