Re - Pregame lining up/police situation

Submitted by DCAlum on February 23rd, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I was going to post this in the thread below, but I thought it would be better as a new forum topic (or maybe a diary I guess?) since I witnessed the whole situation and so there will be less rampant speculation.


I got to the stadium around 2:30am with my tent, and was turned away by the security guard. Went home, slept for a couple of hours, got back at 5:30. There was a line forming at the bus stop at the corner where you can go up to the big house or towards Crisler. I was about 30th in line.


At about 6:45, the people at the front of the line (now about 100 strong) started walking up towards Crisler, meaning to get the line going over there. Some people towards the back started running and then basically everyone was. We lined up at the gate where they generally let people in. The security guard came up to check us out but didn't really say anything to us about moving or leaving.


Maybe 10 minutes later, one of the Maize Rage leaders (not sure who) came up and started talking to the security guard. Apparently it was a big issue that we had lined up at the gate at 6:50 rather than 7. Long story short, she started a new line (at about 7:15) down in the parking lot without really making it clear that it was happening to the people at the front of the original line. This started a new stampede, mostly from the back of the line (now about 200-300 strong).


The people at the front of the line (me included), once this had happened and it looked like they were getting kicked out of the bleachers despite arriving earlier than the people in the other line, pretty much decided that they were staying put. A few security guys tried to get us to move and then they called the cops. The officers told us that if we didn't move, they would get a bus with 20 officers and arrest all of us. Some went to the other line (now of about 500 people) and about 100 stayed put. 


Eventually (looking to avoid the PR issue) they convinced us to move to the parking lot. Associate Athletic Director Rob Rademacher took us inside the football visitor locker room (119 people total) and told us that they were going to reserve the front 12-13 rows of Section 130 for us as a compromise. He also took all of our names and uniquenames and presumably will be emailing us to get feedback on this situation. We then (a few hours later) were taken through the facility and the tunnel, and up to the section. The seats weren't quite as good as the bleachers, but it turned out pretty well and the game was obviously amazing.


My personal takeaway: the Maize Rage leader was put in a tough situation, and made a really bad kneejerk decision rather than figuring it out with the people that had lined up early. She then couldn't really backtrack from it without pissing off some group of students or another. The Associate AD was really awesome and made a good compromise from a bad situation.


Others who were there, let me know if you had a different experience. 



February 23rd, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^



Kidding, of course. Want to reiterate: everyone was trying to figure out the best solution for a tough situation. I disagree with the Maize Rage leader's quick decision, but definitely don't mean a personal slight or anything of the sort.


February 28th, 2014 at 3:15 PM ^

I just want to say that it is really nice to have this problem. There was no line for bleacher seats when I had student season tickets to watch a starting backcourt of Danny Wohl, Sherrod Harrell, and John Andrews...back whenRon Coleman, Lester Abram, and Graham Brown were the best we could hope for (no offense to those guys!).

Anybody else have first row seats in Beilein's first year, watching Deshaun Sims jack up threes from the corner?

Lucky Socks

February 23rd, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^

So you're saying that Dave Brandon didn't descend on a raven and sic his cops on you?  And the Athletic Department actually handled it in an appropriate way, considering the chaos?

Go Blue.  

LS And Play

February 23rd, 2014 at 3:20 PM ^

I can verify all of this as well. I was one of the 119. This athetic department is incompetent. Incompetent. That being said, the associate AD was all class and made the best of a situation he didn't really create. 

Mr. Yost

February 23rd, 2014 at 5:03 PM ^

Then you go praise a senior staff member in the next sentence?


#1 - That makes no sense.
#B - Way to judge the entire athletics department off of this one incident.
...and D. Why don't you find a solution so it doesn't happen again? (Rather than whining about it and judging the competency of an entire athletics department - most of which had nothing to do with today)

LS And Play

February 23rd, 2014 at 5:22 PM ^

Oh, believe me, it is far from just this incident. GA, Ohio State game last year, today, among other things. Also, I am able to distinguish individual members who performed their jobs adequately, despite a larger whole that does not. If you are unable to do this, it's not my problem. And as to finding a solution, that's not my job, sorry. If I got paid to do it, I would be happy to look for solutions. 

Bando Calrissian

February 23rd, 2014 at 3:19 PM ^

For whatever reason, Athletic Department security folks are consistently itchy about their rather arbitrary "X opens/starts at Y o'clock" policies. Don't plan on doing anything a second earlier. We once had a security person drive up to us in a golf cart in an absolutely empty Blue Lot at 5:55AM and make us load our stuff back in our car and drive around for 90 seconds because the lot didn't open up until 6. We undershot it by five freaking minutes. There's nobody there, but those five minutes meant something to her.

There's something called common sense, and in this instance (and many others I've experienced over the years), Athletics security doesn't have it. Rules are rules. They're pretty much Walter Sobchak out there.



February 23rd, 2014 at 3:21 PM ^

I'm involved pretty heavily in the Maize Rage though I don't have season tickets (so I didn't come until later and thus missed this situation). I'd encourage anyone who has constructive comments about this situations (i.e what could be done better) to either leave their comment here so I can review and relay that information or come to our weekly meeting tomorrow at 7 PM. 

From my understanding, the 7 AM time was put into place to avoid having kids camp out. It was supposed to be irrelevant what happened before then because that's when the official line would start, but then people bullrushed early (including my two roommates) and then were told they no longer had a spot. Was this information not sent out in email beforehand? Because if not that was the primary problem and should be rectificed. 


February 23rd, 2014 at 3:32 PM ^

If there was an email, I didn't see it. I think if something like this is going to be enforced in the way it was, it should be made MUCH more clear...for example, it could have been explicitly laid out in the email I got saying that my claim had been cleared for the game.


It's unclear to me why the people who were there at 7 (regardless of the bull rush) were not moved to the front of the line originally, since that line was only about 20 people long when the back of the original line started rushing in just the same way down there.


Edit: Just checked my email. The only thing I see that even mentions this (and it's pretty ambiguous) is one of the emails from Michigan Basketball that says "Maize Rage line opens at 7:00am, gates open at 10:30am." I can't find anything that says anything about lining up before that time, and it's not only reasonable but incredibly predictable that this situation would occur. The AD and Maize Rage both should have had a plan in place to deal with the situation (and maybe more than one security guard in place at 6:45 am if they were serious about keeping people from lining up).

Bando Calrissian

February 23rd, 2014 at 3:32 PM ^

You know, if they don't want people to line up, and if they don't want to risk kids camping out, the marquee games should be assigned sections/seating from the second the ticket is issued. Ends all of this corraling and stress and total clusterfuck situations. 

Then again, if you ask me, they've made student tickets way more cmplicated than they should ever be, but one must respect The Process.

LS And Play

February 23rd, 2014 at 3:41 PM ^

What shocked me about the whole situation is that the Maize Rage leaders didn't even notify people that the line was moving down to the parking lot. They got off scot-free with their first row bleacher seats. Those of us not affiliated with that organization got royally screwed. 

It would have been quite simple to move the people at the front of the original line (like me) down to the front of the new line if there was just a little bit of communication. 


February 23rd, 2014 at 4:11 PM ^

Alright that sounds about right from what I had heard about the situation. I will be bringing up tomorrow that for future marquee games if they want to do this, there need to be multiple emails more explicitly explaining the policy or they need to not do it and let people line up whenever the hell they want. 


February 23rd, 2014 at 3:42 PM ^

I have season tickets and I definitely received an email specifically stating the line started at 7 AM. They did the same thing for the Arizona game, and when I showed up at 6:45 to try and get in line I got kicked out of the parking lot and wasn't allowed to enter until 7. So today I didn't show up until 6:45 thinking they would handle it the same, but I saw that almost 300 people were already in line. I was frustrated to see that they let people line up before 7 since they didn't let me for the Arizona game. But in the end, I benefited from the whole situation. I went from being about 300th in line to about 100th since I jumped into the new line right away. So in the grand scheme of things I was happy that it worked out for me, but I definitely don't agree with how the maize rage handled it. If I were one of the kids in the front, I would have been pissed. We just need to be allowed to line up whenever we want. We're adults and can make our own decisions on how long we want to wait in the cold to watch a game.

LS And Play

February 23rd, 2014 at 3:49 PM ^

^This. The athletic department creates these arbitrary and capritious rules, and their response to supposed "violations" of these rules is equally arbitrary and capricious. Every major university I can think of lets students line up whenever the hell they want to. I don't want to hear this bullshit about safety. I slipped on the ice about 4 times on my way to and from class on Friday. Cancel class for that and then talk about safety. 

I Like Burgers

February 23rd, 2014 at 5:45 PM ^

You're never going to get around situations like this. If you tell people to line up at 7am, you're going to have a group of people there's ahead of time (in a line) waiting to get in line. Then when it's officially time to line up, you're going to have a bullrush situation. You probably need to institute your own line up/armband situation.

Provide the competence and logic the AD is lacking.

I Like Burgers

February 23rd, 2014 at 5:51 PM ^

The procedure is clear, but when you have an arbitrary time to line up (like 7) and you and a bunch of other people get there at say 6:30 waiting in some sort of line to get in the official line, you're going to have problems.  And there's no good way around it without someone getting screwed.

Its very similar to waiting for a bus or subway at a crowded stop.  There's no official line until the bus/train shows up.  And then its a mad scramble.  You basically have to guess where the line is going to be and hope you're right.


February 23rd, 2014 at 3:37 PM ^

You got a free tour of the locker room and got to go to the game... Yea.

Seriously though why do asshats feel the need to ignore the rules/time lines and then act like they were done wrong. I want to punch everyone in the face who lives life feeling the guidelines don't apply to them because they think they are dumb.


February 23rd, 2014 at 4:31 PM ^

How about the Ahletic Dept create and place a couple of large signs in the parking lot outside of Crisler stating some of the policies/requirements of forming lines and attending the game. They could state when, where, how early, etc.

As an old alum it's frustrating to hear of students not having clear communication on how to get their seats to the games at Crisler. The students were AMAZING today. Rarely have I heard it so loud and I've NEVER seen so little green and white in the last 25 years. Great win. Go Blue!


February 23rd, 2014 at 3:58 PM ^

Seems like the problem was really generated by Maize Rage overstepping their bounds. It's unfortunately one of the realities you get accustomed to that both student  groups and organized fan groups in general offer perfect outlets for Napoleon complexes, cronyism, favoritism etc.




February 23rd, 2014 at 4:05 PM ^

The Maize Rage "core" group or whatever they like to call themselves is a complete joke. They think they're owed something because they have weekly circle jerk meetings to talk about god knows what. They're no better fans than anyone else and shouldn't automatically get the best seats in the student section. In general they're just the students with so little else going on that they have time to spend ridiculous hours waiting in line and going to basketball student section meetings for whatever reason.

Bando Calrissian

February 23rd, 2014 at 4:07 PM ^

I can say with all honesty the biggest wankers I ever encountered in my years in school were the Maize Rage core people. You're going to get all high and mighty on me while you're wearing a driving range bucket on your head?


February 23rd, 2014 at 5:22 PM ^

Since I've made myself an unofficial "core" representative, I won't stoop to name calling despite it being tempting in this case.  All I can say is that someone who spends time on a sports blog to criticize parts of a student section for "circle jerking at student section meetings" rings extremely hollow.  . 


February 23rd, 2014 at 5:32 PM ^

Honestly I'm curious now, what do you guys talk about for an hour every week? I've been to almost every home game for the past three years and it's not like the student section has implemented any groundbreaking new chants or even something resembling a clever coordinated taunting effort. I don't know of any other school that has an actual student group within the student section that thinks they run the thing. I feel like most of the people who actually have time to go to that stuff and get to weekday games in the middle of the afternoon are underclassmen who just aren't that busy or otherwise involved on campus and need to artifically fill up their schedule by waiting in the cold.

I Like Burgers

February 23rd, 2014 at 6:01 PM ^

Never been to a meeting or anything, but I would imagine a group dedicated to watching basketball probably spends a fair amount of time at their meeting talking about the team.  Which to my old, married, kid-raising, job-having ass sounds like a pretty solid way to spend an hour a week.

And frankly, its smart that a group of fans has taken the time to organize themselves.  By doing so, they create an advantage of numbers; they can create a plan of action and ensure they get the majority of the best seats.

Strength in numbers is smart.  Maybe dickish, but smart.



February 23rd, 2014 at 4:27 PM ^

The Maize Rage core (or whatever they are called) owes an apology to those students. That's what it comes down to. Student basketball seating is first come, first serve. This looks like a pretty obvious attempt by the group that has enough time to meet on Monday nights to ensure the best possible seats for themselves and they should take ownership or be reprimanded.

I can also see some beef with the AD as they did not make it clear that camping out would not be allowed, when it has been in the past.

Get it right in the future.

Great game. Go Blue!