University drops Faurot Field trespassing charges

MSA passed a resolution encouraging the dropping of the charges.
An MU fan slides off the Faurot Field goal post after the students and fans stormed the field following the Tigers' upset win against the Oklahoma Sooners. Amnesty has been granted to the the 30 students who were being tried on trespassing charges following the game.

MU has dropped all charges against the 30 persons who were arrested after rushing the field following Missouri’s 36-27 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners on Oct. 23, Chancellor Brady Deaton said in a statement Thursday.

According to the news release, the football game against Oklahoma presented officials with unique circumstances. After careful review, the university will not forward the summons for trespassing on the field to the city prosecutor.

A Facebook page entitled “Free the Faurot Field Thirty” had more than 2,260 fans as of press time. Additionally, Wednesday night, before MU dropped the charges, the Missouri Students Association passed a resolution to encourage the university to do exactly that. MSA President Tim Noce said the resolution was sent to MU administrators Wednesday night.

All 30 fans were originally charged with first-degree trespassing, MSA Senate Speaker Evan Wood said.

“It’s the student body taking a stance and having it on record,” MSA Senator Matt Sheppard said in an e-mail. “It’s showing those arrested that the students of Mizzou are behind them in their fight and want to help.”

Sheppard said the resolution specifically offered solutions other than arrest rather than give the non-threatening MU fans a criminal record.

"Fans must conduct themselves with honor and respect for the values of the university, even during the euphoria of a big win. We have high expectations for many more wins and must insist on orderly behavior in an effort to avoid any injuries," the news release stated.

“From a liability perspective it is a safety concern,” Wood said. “But it is hypocritical to advertise photos of students on the field and sell photos through the athletics department.”

Wood said he had received an MU e-mail earlier this week with the dominant photo depicting students covering the field in celebration of MU’s win. The university did not condemn the action of rushing the field in the e-mail.

The university selling and profiting off field-rushing photos was the drive behind the MSA resolution, Wood said.

“When the officers are being employed by athletics to charge individuals on the field with trespassing then go and markets, for a profit, the pictures taken of students on the field while pressing charges against them at the same time is completely unethical,” Sheppard said.

It is important to note that our police force preformed admirably, the release stated. Fans violating the rules were warned that they faced arrest and subsequent sanctions.

MSA had plans to meet with the university to discuss the future of the 30 fans arrested, Wood said. Those meetings are no longer necessary.

“Every student that rushed that field is Mizzou and we are not going to make a few people pay for what we all did together in celebration of making Mizzou history,” Sheppard said. “We will not let a few cops ruin that historic moment for some of my Mizzou family members.”

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