Stadium re-entry may end

Wednesday, October 1, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:59 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

The Big 12 Conference is reviewing Missouri’s longstanding practice of allowing football fans to leave during halftime and re-enter Memorial Stadium.

Security issues and crowd behavior have driven the Big 12 to consider recommending that schools discontinue the so-called “pass-outs.”

Bo Carter, assistant commissioner of the Big 12, said Tuesday that a vote on such a recommendation is possible as early as today during a Big 12 meeting in Dallas.

Security and sportsmanship issues are main concerns, Carter said, adding the recommendation is being considered to ensure a safer game environment as well as better control of crowds.

The pass-out regulation has been under discussion since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The NCAA and American Football Coaches Association, citing security issues, recommended in February that schools refrain from letting fans return to a stadium once they leave. The NCAA also recently released a fan-behavior study indicating that alcohol is one of the factors that lead to an increase in fan aggression.

Regardless of whether the Big 12 takes action on the pass-outs, no changes will be made at MU for the rest of this football season, Chad Moller, director of media relations for the athletic department, said Tuesday.

“If anything changes, it won’t affect this season,” Moller said.

Among the Big 12 football schools, about nine have followed an NCAA advisory against issuing pass-outs during games, Carter said. He added that the Big 12 recommendations leave it up to each school to make decisions on whether to let fans re-enter.

MU junior Jim Wulfson agreed that a lot of people will probably have negative reactions if the pass-out privilege is canceled in the future, but said he’s not opposed if it improves security.

“A lot of people really view football games as an opportunity to drink,” he said. 

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