Oregon Ducks Football Players Face Disciplinary Actions over Snowball Fight

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterDecember 9, 2013


Several Oregon Ducks football players are in hot water over a snowball fight that quickly got out of hand last Friday. 

ESPN reports Ducks coach Mark Helfrich has announced that several players will be reprimanded for their part in a large snowball fight that caused one former professor to get pummeled with snow. 


UPDATE: Monday, Dec. 9 at 2:45 p.m. ET 

The Oregonian's Andrew Greif reports tight end Pharaoh Brown is suspended from the Alamo Bowl for his part in the snowball fight. 

Greif states there are no other suspensions at this time, but several "unidentified" players have been scolded by football officials. 

---End of update---


According to the report, players organized the entire event and eventually saw upwards of 100 students participate. 

Video of the snowball fight-turned-folly posted by the Daily Emerald to YouTube follows (NSFW language):

KATU-TV's Anna Canzano (h/t The Oregonian) identified on her Facebook page the man who gets out of the car only to be pelted with snow as "retired University of Oregon professor Sherwin Simmons."

According to Canzano, Simmons was on his way to the school's museum of art to donate pieces when he was stopped by the snowball fracas he described as innocent fun—at least that was his initial thought. 

Simmons came to a halt because the piles of snow that had pelted his windshield made it nearly impossible to see and he didn't want to injure any bystanders. However, when he got out of the vehicle, he realized that this seemingly harmless fun had escalated into something more. 

Canzano continues, stating Simmons couldn't locate anyone who was in charge of the fight. Amid expletives and snow tossed his way, Simmons looked for anyone who might help. The woman he confronted even proclaimed she wasn't participating. 

The former professor finally made it to the museum and mentioned the snowball melee to a security official. Although, it's important to note Simmons' reaction and subsequent claims are far more measured than the students who once greeted him. 

Via Canzano's report, Simmons made it clear he will not be pressing charges and even admitted he might have engaged in this type of behavior years ago: 

It was a snowball fight. The students shouldn't involve people who aren't part of it, but this is not high crimes, not an assault, not even a misdemeanor. No one should be charged. That would be nuts.

It's not anything I wouldn't have done at Yale when I was a student there, only we would have thrown snowballs at each other. Not at a white haired professor like me! I am 68 years old, after all.

Helfrich isn't taking this lightly, and offered the following, via ESPN

On Saturday, I was made aware of an incident that occurred Friday afternoon during the snow day involving multiple Oregon students, including members of the football team. The behavior exhibited in the video is completely unacceptable and dangerous. We take this matter very seriously and disciplinary actions have begun.

The Oregonian's report features an apology and explanation from receiver Josh Huff via Twitter

Offensive lineman Andre Yruretagoyena (h/t NPR) tweeted similar sentiments in apologizing for his team's actions: 

Amid its extensive coverage of the event, the Daily Emerald ran a column by Julianne Parker that aptly describes the scene and explains how such fun can turn ugly so quickly. 

"A crowd can be a pretty powerful force when you’re caught up and not thinking of yourself as an individual. People might do things they wouldn’t normally do without a crowd’s influence," Oregon psychology professor Sara Hodges told Parker.

Thankfully, it seems as though nobody was injured and this horseplay gone awry only lives on as a viral video, while several players facing disciplinary actions at the moment have hopefully learned a lesson. 

We can all use a reminder every now and again: Even a jubilant crowd enjoying the change in seasons can turn unruly rather quickly. 


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