Apart from rushing the field after the Wolverines’ 40-34 win against the Buckeyes on Saturday, Michigan fans at the Big House remained relatively tame as they watched the Wolverines beat Ohio State for the first time in seven seasons.
Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the University’s Department of Public Safety, said that considering the animosity between the Wolverines and the Buckeyes, fans were fairly calm on Saturday.
“Indeed this was a high rivalry game, and as a result it was a very large crowd, and it also does tend to draw out unsportsmanlike behavior that sometimes will cross lines into criminal activity, such as assault and battery and disorderly conduct,” Brown said. “However, for all of those people that were there and as intense as the game was, it was a fairly, reasonably well-behaved crowd.”
Out of a crowd of 114,132 people, five were arrested, seven were issued citations and 38 were ejected from the stadium during the game, according to Brown.
Two of the arrests were for minor in possession of alcohol, one for disorderly conduct, one for resisting a police officer and one for possessing what was suspected to be marijuana, according to Brown. Five people were issued citations for possessing alcohol, one for using someone else’s identification and another for urinating in public. Of the 38 people ejected from the stadium, 17 were asked to leave for using another person’s ID, 16 for alcohol possession, four for disorderly conduct and one for violating stadium rules.
In addition to the disorderly conduct, 87 people were treated by emergency medical personnel, 15 of whom were taken to the hospital, according to Brown.
Many of the crime incidents on Saturday involved students, but the number of students who were actually arrested, cited or ejected has not been made public, Brown said. She added that crime incidents at the Big House are always higher at Ohio State games than at games against other opponents.
“It’s a very potent rivalry,” Brown said.
However, rivalry games including the Sept. 10 night game against Notre Dame saw a similar number of crimes. At the Sept. 10 game there were 14 arrests, seven citations and 20 ejections from the Big House.
In lapse of adherence to public safety, thousands of people took to the field en masse after the Wolverines’ victory on Saturday, violating a stadium rule that states “unauthorized entry onto the playing field before, during or after the game is prohibited,” according to mgoblue.com. However, there were no arrests of fans who hopped over the railings.
Officials were no more concerned about fans rushing the field for the Ohio State game than for any other, Brown said. For that reason, public safety officials always have a strategy should fans choose to rush the field. The strategy allows fans to rush the field, but does not allow fans near the goalposts. Officials could be seen guarding the goalposts after Saturday’s game.
“We always have to have a variety of emergency plans in place for a variety of emergencies … including such things as people entering the field,” Brown said.
The last time fans rushed the field at the Big House was in 2003 after the Wolverines’ last victory over the Buckeyes.