Out With 'Rock and Roll,' in With Garyland Gazette at UMD

New publication intended to encourage tradition, sportsmanship at Maryland basketball games.

Gary Williams says Maryland students don't need any help when it comes to basketball tradition.

Gary Williams says Maryland students don't need any help when it comes to basketball tradition.

Sept. 29, 2004

By David Selig
The Diamondback

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (U-WIRE) -- The University Student Sportsmanship Committee wishes to encourage sportsmanship and tradition to students by issuing The Garyland Gazette at home men's basketball games, the committee announced yesterday on a full-page advertisement in The Diamondback.

This comes after the sportsmanship committee eliminated "Rock and Roll, Part II" from football and basketball games earlier this month, upsetting some students who said the committee eliminated university traditions. The Garyland Gazette, a student-written publication, would intend to "strengthen the newspaper-shaking tradition with something we can call our own," the ad says.

The tradition of newspaper waving during the opposite team's introductions, pervasive at many universities, implies that reading the paper is more interesting than listening to that team's starting lineup. "I would say it's a witty way of expressing feelings to the [opposing] team," committee chairwoman Lauren Spates said. "I don't think it's offensive. In essence we're ignoring the other team."

Spates said committee member Kelaine Conochan and Maryland Cow Nipple writer Andy LoPresto will head the publication, which will be issued only to students at basketball games. The ad said it will include "funny articles, stats and player interviews," and Spates said the publication is looking for a sports editor.

Men's basketball coach Gary Williams said basketball fans at the university have more tradition than most schools and don't need any help. "Our fans don't need to be educated, they're as sophisticated as any fans in the country,"Williams said. "We're not where we are [as a team] without having the fans. How can you lack tradition when you've been to 11 straight NCAA tournaments?

The sportsmanship committee also announced it will rename the student section "Testudo's Troops." The group will finalize plans about when to instate the new name Wednesday, Spates said.

That moniker finished second to "The Red Army" in a naming contest last year, but after one game with the winning nickname, the athletics department decided not to make it official because of complaints about its reference to communism. The advertisement claimed there are "many wonderful traditions at Maryland," but listed only three current basketball traditions - newspaper shaking, Midnight Madness and Williams' fist pump when he steps onto the floor.

Spates said yesterday that students at the university do not have a strong sense of tradition.

"I would say that there's a lack of tradition around campus in general," Spates said. "The committee is looking into traditions of the past. We're trying to find out [traditions] from alumni and other people who work on campus."

The advertisement also announced an open men's basketball practice Oct. 27 at Comcast Center where only students would be allowed to view a scrimmage, tour the locker room and spend time with the team. Spates announced Wednesday at a Student Government Association meeting that "Rock and Roll, Part II" - one of the strongest fan traditions in recent years - would not be played by the marching band at basketball games after urging from Williams. The committee previously halted its playing at football games after the committee consulted football coach Ralph Friedgen.

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