WVU: Riots Following Baylor Upset Were 'Criminal', Expulsions Possible
Morgantown authorities are assessing damage from riots that broke out following West Virginia's 41-27 win over No. 4 Baylor.
Police Chief Ed Preston said Sunday that crowds pushed over street lights and threw rocks, beer bottles and other items at public safety personnel and their vehicles. Numerous fires were set in the student-dominated Sunnyside area and other parts of the city.
Preston says in a news release that police used pepper spray and chemical munitions to disperse the crowds. Police arrested several people on various charges.
The incidents began shortly before 10:30 p.m. Saturday in Sunnyside. Preston says fires and property damage spread to other parts of the city, including the central business district.
Preston says it will take several days to compile statistical information about the incidents.
West Virginia University also issued a statement Sunday, stating in part:
The behavior exhibited last night will not go unpunished, either by the courts or the University. All law enforcement agencies, as well as University officials, are reviewing videotapes and social media posts. Where individuals can be identified, they will face immediate charges and arrest. In addition, as the WVU Student Conduct Code covers student behavior on- and off-campus, any students found to be involved in the activities will face appropriate sanctions, up to and an including expulsion.
West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee responded to the events following the game by calling the behavior "unacceptable" and that he wants to "create change."
Disappointed in some of our student body today. While a small minority, the actions of a few hurt the reputation of our entire University.— E. Gordon Gee (@gordongee) October 19, 2014
I appreciate the outrage of so many of our students and ask our student leaders partner with me to create change.— E. Gordon Gee (@gordongee) October 19, 2014
I want all students to know this behavior is unacceptable. We can and will work together to prevent this situation from happening again.— E. Gordon Gee (@gordongee) October 19, 2014