By Brian Carlson
ROTC cadets will still fire the cannon after scores, but they will no longer escort referees off the field or help in crowd control at LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU officials said Monday.
“They will not assist in stadium security,” school spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said.
BYU”s decision came after Army ROTC cadets assaulted fans trying to storm the field following BYU”s win over Utah on Nov. 17. One student suffered a concussion and others had light injuries after cadets tackled, clotheslined and punched fans trying to join the midfield celebration.
The ROTC apologized for its “overenthusiastic actions” but said it was fulfilling University Police”s request to help with stadium security.
But University Police Lt. Greg Barber insists the police merely asked the cadets to escort the referees – not physically restrain fans coming onto the field.
“There was some miscommunication that their request applied to the crowd,” Jenkins said.
Four students had filed formal complaints with BYU as of Monday, and the school is “taking concerns seriously,” Jenkins said.
“We want to make sure we are fair to students who feel they are wronged in this situation,” she said.
BYU is handling each complaint individually, Jenkins said.
Aaron Call, a junior from Sandy majoring in finance, was told Monday the university would compensate him for his clothing damaged in the scuffle.
“It makes me happy to see that they”ve actually acknowledged what happened and that they”re taking steps to make restitution,” Call said.
BYU also said it would compensate Bryan Hall for his medical bills. Hall, 23, a senior from Boise, Idaho, majoring in English, went to the hospital and paid for a CAT scan revealing he had suffered a concussion from the ROTC assaults.
“It”s good,” Hall said. “I”m glad they”ll cover me.”
However, Hall said he is more pleased with the decision to take the ROTC off the field.
“It gives me the assurance that what happened won”t happen again,” he said.