Perhaps you have read of the assault of an Ole Miss student at the Egg Bowl in Starkville last year. This is not a cute way of saying that we lost the game decisively or that our eyes were violated by their large and unattractive women. No, this is a very serious case of one person - a Mississippi State fan - using a blunt object to batter and seriously injure another person - an Ole Miss fan - in the heat of fan-passion.
The instrument used? None other than the banned noisemaker, the cowbell.
The assaulter has been arrested and charged. Bravo, Bully Police Department. It is no small task catching someone wielding a weapon with fifty thousand eye witnesses on hand to identify him. And with such speed. Justice will, no doubt, be just as swift ("deprive the boy his ration of chewing tobacco for four weeks!").
Where, though, is the cry coming up from those of us with sharp legal minds - researching and citing the precedent - that these things were technically banned from the stadium? Let's put two things together for comparison:
- Students at the University of South Carolina storm the court after their team's win over Kentucky. No one is injured. The school is fined $25,000.
- A student at Mississippi State University uses a nominally banned, but hypocritically overlooked, instrument to commit a felony and seriously injure an opposing fan. Not even a whisper from the SEC.
That. Does not. Make. Sense. I try to come up with other examples, but there are none. The SEC simply does not allow its other member schools to so blatantly disregard its rules. This is not an impossible rule to enforce. We at Ole Miss successfully banned sticks from our stadium and catch most students who try to bring liquor to the South End Zone. Yet, thousands of cowbells enter Davis-Wade every game. They are used every game. At this game one of them was used to literally beat an opposing fan.
Won't they even give them some, sort of, sportsmanship reprimand? No. No they won't. And it is a shame and a blot on the SEC that this rule is flauntingly disregarded, even in the face of this radical and illegal use of an object that is already against the rules.