A video submitted by Tommy Pittenger, an employee of the Emerald’s business department, shows University of Oregon students pelting cars with snowballs and dumping a bucket of snow on Sherwin Simmons, a retired UO professor, in front of the Erb Memorial Union, after Friday’s snowball fight was released yesterday. Since then it has gained more than 4.2 million views on YouTube and over 8,700 comments on Reddit, as of Sunday afternoon. The video reached the front page of Reddit and was the #2 spot.
What started as a friendly snowball fight organized by the UO football team at 12:40 p.m. on Friday Dec. 6 escalated hours later.
A statement fromPaul Shang, the UO dean of students, has been released in regards to the snowball incident stating that the University of Oregon’s Police Department is currently investigating the incident and will determine whether or not the actions of the students involved constitute a criminal act.
“Consequences are clear for those whose actions reflect poorly upon the university or violate its standards for student behavior,” Shang wrote in the release. “However, until the facts of the snowball-throwing incident are sorted out, it would be premature to speculate about any potential outcomes in this case.”
Oregon offensive lineman Andre Yruretagoyena tweeted: “Embarrassed by the video I just watched. That’s not all of us, sending the sincerest apologies.”
A photo posted by Register-Guard photographer Chris Pietsch shows UO tight end Pharaoh Brown dumping a bucket of snow on another student. The viral video shows someone wearing the same outfit using a similar looking bucket to dump snow on the driver of the car.
The snowball fight turned rowdy by 3 p.m., according to UO student Liana Lis.
“At the time I had been in the snowball fight it was totally fun and it was cool because the people were there who wanted to participate,” Lis said. “But then they started throwing it at cars and I had the gut instinct that it was just wrong and it got uncomfortable.”
A petition has been created by a non-UO student to “pressure UO to condemn and carry out deep disciplinary action against all those who participated in snow-fighting frenzy.”
Reddit users are accusing what they believe to be the UO football players of “committing assault/battery, and vandalism.”
Some have stated that they are sending emails to the university’s administration as well as the UO head football coach to ask for disciplinary action for the students involved.
The comment war on YouTube quickly turned racial, so Emerald editors disabled the comment function.
Some Reddit comments include:
“I really hope something gets done about this, and it’s sad that in today’s society it takes as much visibility as reddit offers to actually make authority do something about situations like this.”
“As a graduate of the University of Oregon. I would like to apologize on behalf of these idiots. I hope some one in the administration sees this and they have their athletic scholarships revoked.”
“The athletic department itself would probably want to do nothing due to the fact that they don’t want their meal ticket (good athletes) taken away. Due to probable backlash, however, they might give them a slap on the wrist and they might have to run after practice for embarrassing and possibly hurting the program. Anything more severe than that would honestly surprise me.”
Follow Julianne Parker on Twitter @julianneparker
**Editor’s note: Inappropriate, racist or libelous comments will be deleted**