- The Washington Times - Monday, February 2, 2004

Maryland coach Gary Williams wants the students at Comcast Center to be loud, but he asked them to find a more appropriate method of intimidation.

Williams addressed the students approximately five minutes before tipoff of yesterday’s game against N.C. State in light of the behavior near the end of the Terrapins’ game against Duke on Jan.21. The students used profanity as they chanted at Blue Devils guard J.J. Redick, who burned the Terps with 26 points in Duke’s victory.

“We cannot have obscene chants. We cannot have obscene T-shirts,” Williams said. “We’re too good for that. We have a great university, a great place to play and the best fans in the country.

“We don’t need obscene chants and T-shirts to help us win. That only hurts us with officials and with national television. … It’s got to stop.”

When Williams was through, the students cheered the coach. During the game, the student section seemed subdued. Group chants were not heard, but there were several profanity-laced insults from individuals in the student section.

The Duke chant in question, which was clearly audible on ESPN’s television broadcast, garnered national attention and is the latest controversial incident in the Maryland-Duke saga.

Three years ago, a student threw an empty water bottle toward the court at Cole Field House. The bottle struck the mother of then-Duke star Carlos Boozer. Maryland officials reacted by removing students from the area behind the opposing team’s bench.

The Maryland band also was not allowed to play “Rock & Roll Part Two” anymore because of the extra phrases added to the song by students. The song has returned but on a limited basis — twice at football games and directly after pregame introductions at Comcast. The band played on yesterday.

“There’s nothing wrong with that song — it gets the fans ready,” said junior Jonathan Fusfield, a regular in the front row of the student section. “I think it was good that Gary talked to us. It has been over the top at times, especially against Duke.

“But every arena is doing it — being vulgar — so I don’t think there is anything they can do about it. If anything it’s made us more sarcastic.”

One fan held up signs that read: “I dislike the other team,” “I disagree with that call,” and “Expletive!”

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