COLUMBUS (AP) – Go ahead, boo Michigan. Just be nice about it.

Ohio State University officials, not wanting to ban tailgating or other game-day fun, are encouraging football fans to be more respectful.

University President Karen Holbrook has asked Bill Hall, the vice president for student affairs, to create a committee to study fan behavior. Also likely to be part of the group are students, Athletic Director Andy Geiger, alumni and representatives from the staff and the city.

“This is not a wholesale change in trying to get people to do different things,” Holbrook said Friday. “It’s really just saying, ‘Please think about what you’re doing and the message you send about the university.'”

“We’re not going to come out with a policy. This is going to be a long-term approach,” Hall said. “And it’s going to be one more of education, of setting a tone of tolerance.”

Ohio State officials also are trying to quiet the wild parties that have occurred in recent years near campus.

When large off-campus parties led to property destruction last spring, the university joined forces with the city, threatening to suspend students who broke the law. When alcohol was cited as the catalyst for the problems, Ohio State worked with beer retailers to curb weekend sales.

But drinking around Ohio Stadium is openly tolerated on game day, even as Hall and others acknowledge that it adds to the problems.

“There’s an inconsistency there,” Hall said, praising Holbrook for addressing it. “People have sort of looked the other way and she’s not willing to do that.”

Holbrook worries that the behavior – which includes foul language, lewd T-shirts and taunting fans and coaches of opposing teams – works against the university’s attempt to promote academics. She said Ohio State has a chance to be a national leader in tackling the issue.

“The kind of story I’m trying to tell is we have some of the best students in the nation,” she said. “So much can be undone” by bad behavior.

University spokesman Lee Tashjian said Ohio State wants to emphasize that the objectionable behavior involves only a small number of fans.

Chris Stankovich, a sports psychologist and founder of Champion Athletic Consulting in Columbus, believes tempers tend to rise along with ticket prices.

“More and more fans have that expectation that they are going to get their money’s worth, that they paid for their seat and they have a right to do and say what they want,” he said.

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