University of Oregon’s football coach Mark Helfrich releases statement on Friday’s snowball fight

Coach Mark Helfrich talks preparation for Utah and Utes quarterback Travis Wilson after practice on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. The Ducks are scheduled to host the Utah Utes on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. (Andrew Seng/Emerald)

Coach Mark Helfrich talks preparation for Utah and Utes quarterback Travis Wilson after practice on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. The Ducks are scheduled to host the Utah Utes on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. (Andrew Seng/Emerald)

Posted by Ian Campbell on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 6:15 pm.

In a press release issued by Assistant Athletic Director Andy McNamara, University of Oregon head football coach Mark Helfrich issued a statement on Friday’s snowball fight at the intersection of University Street and Johnson Lane.

“On Saturday, I was made aware of an incident that occurred Friday afternoon during the snow day involving multiple Oregon students including members of the football team. The behavior exhibited in the video is completely unacceptable and dangerous. We take this matter very seriously and disciplinary actions have begun,” Helfrich said in the release.

  • Sports righter

    Very disappointed with the adults in our community who are taking fun away from kids; this was a college student release from hard work, studies and practice. Have we gotten so bad that we just can not let kids have fun???

    I remember coming back from Corvallis after OS upset us in OT in Basketball returning to the dorms to an amazing snowball fight!! No one hurt, a VW made the mistake to stop and complain!!

    Let kids be kids!!!!

    I am embarrassed by the action of the Eugene police and the Oregon administration looking to be so politically correct that they are looking to punish kids!!!

    • Actual Sports writer

      Sports writer……? You just lost all credibility.

    • Gabriele

      Are you kidding me.

    • Jy

      Uh…you’re kidding right. How the hell do you think it’s totally okay to dump freezing cold ice on someone’s car and then have him get chucked with snowballs. It’s embarrassing and disrespectful. WE ARE IN COLLEGE. Thus, we should act MORE like adults and NOT like kids. Don’t get me wrong, having fun is great, but this was going way too far. It wasn’t even just this poor man, he just happened to be caught on film. So many others have been harassed by these idiotic people. I have no idea how your thinking is, but clearly you have no idea about what being respectful to others is like. These people have done nothing to receive such immature and poor quality behavior. The Duck’s have been tainted thanks to those morons.

    • Sam

      A snowball fight is a where students who would like to participate come together to throw snowballs at each other. This was students bombarding a professor and many others who just wanted to pass through and were already having a hard enough time driving through the snow. This is harassment and extremely inappropriate.

    • Westwoodman

      Personally I’m more than happy to let kids be kids. However, I’m equally happy with making adults act like adults…and stopping vehicle on the street so you can dump a load of snow INSIDE the vehicle and pelt the driver with snow is NOT adult behavior. Clearly these people do need to be treated like “kids”…and in my day would have earned a really stout spanking and some serious loss of privileges. Of course, today discipline can’t include those things…so they’ll be asked to be polite and adult for the next couple of minutes. Every one of them should be publicly identified and then get something more than “double secret probation.” Their actions reflect poorly upon Oregon, and they should be made to understand that.

  • Ctr


  • Alumni

    People keep using the excuse that they are all just kids being kids. Legally they are all adults. There’s a point when having fun crosses the line. If you feel otherwise I urge you to take a tub full of snow in the face while your sitting in your vehicle with an open door. Maybe then you can endulge in your belief that its just kids having fun.

  • Geoff

    Sports righter, if you watch the video I’m sure you will have a different perspective. Tossing a few snowballs at cars as they drive by is one thing, stopping that car by standing in front of it while a mob pelts it with snow balls and students dump bins of snow on the windshield is another thing altogether. And when the driver attempts to get out of his car and is attacked by snowballs and a bin of snow being dumped directly on top of him it is well beyond “kids being kids” — it becomes shameful and potentially very dangerous.

    Kids need to learn to be accountable for their actions. And to self police themselves. And “adults” need to set that tone by drawing the line for them when they don’t do it themselves.

  • Student


  • Chef Kody

    Helfrich “So basically I am going to do nothing”

    • JimmyJohnson


    • DrJLD

      Why is “disciplinary actions have begun” a sign that Helfrich is not going to do anything. What do you suggest he do?
      Let us wait to see what happens before such a statement can be made.

  • Rich

    The snowball fights organized by the football players and VOLUNTARILY joined by many many other students were totally appropriate fun for college students, even if a little dangerous. A great way for the team and other students to mix and be kids enjoying their college years together. However, the incident with the professor was wrong and the persons (football players or not) involved in that should definitely be called out for their actions. At the very least they should be reprimanded, make an apology and spend some time doing something constructive for the university or the professor. The goofs who got carried away are probably good kids that need to learn from this. And be glad that nobody got hurt.

    • Ted

      exactly…well said…The snowball fight was a good release for all the students involved. But the incident with the professor and his vehicle was so far over the top that any football players involved should be embarrassed, I won’t mention names…But every single player involved with that incident should be doing stadiums every day until they leave for the bowl game…The incident was way over and above what would be considered fun and appropriate behavior for representatives of the program.

      • JimmyJohnson

        Why not name names? Pharaoh Brown, you were given a generous scholarship and in return you make the whole university look like garbage. Way to go jack ass. If the university values its image at all it will take action. His scholarship should be revoked entirely if possible to make a statement, and if he actually values his education (which you clearly doesn’t) instead let him stay and pay for it himself from now on. As for football, he should be suspended and instead be forced to do research on what assault, criminal mischief/vandalism, and disorderly conduct are under Oregon law – that is assuming he is lucky enough not to be charged with any of them.

    • phyl

      WOW! For a team to being going to a bowl game this was a great “team builder”. I could see if a SNOW covered ROCK was thrown, but come on. SO school athletes, that are so often segregated from other students, is now interacting as part of the “normal” student body and they get PUNISHED for the EGO of a college professor? This is so sad, that the coach did not advocate for his players. This is so sad, that the DEAN of STUDENTS didn’t put on their Student Development hat, and handle this more appropriately. There is absolutely no reason for these players to be punished in this fashion. Did someone get punched? cussed out? threatened? I did not see this a part of the issue. STUDENT DEVELOPMENT professionals on this campus need to step up! And if this professor felt threatened then he should have either stayed in his car and safely driven off, or get out and join in the fun!

  • A person with a brain

    Those are are treated like kids, do not belong in a school for adults. This kind of behavior exists in high school, not a university. I hope UO does the right thing: kick them out. Warning is useless.

  • Jimbo Franks

    what a bunch of Punks.

  • henry obama

    They deserve disciplinary actions. If you are defending the students then you are part of the problem in this world.

    • phyl

      Ha, this is funny. So harsh with such an interesting last name. Do you have such a “backbone” on other “moral” issues?

  • Rerun

    The moment he opened his car door, Oregon tight end Pharaoh Brown tossed a bucket-full of snow into Simmons’ face. Investigate? Suspend Pharoah Brown.

  • P

    What the coach is actually saying when he makes his statement: “On Saturday, I was forced by overwhelming public opinion to actually give a crap about what my players do outside of football. Now that it’s become a public relations nightmare, where there is a slightly higher chance of losing sponsors and donors, I am making this statement so that we can all move on and forget this all happened. Alamo Bowl! Go Ducks!”

  • bill

    As an alum, this video confirmed my suspicion that many young people attending the UO today reject the notion of “Respect”. Narcissistic personalities seem to be attracted to the University in droves. For the edification of those who never received the benefit of basic values in their home, I offer up some advice from Stanford Encyclopedia when defining this notion of RESPECT: ” As children we are taught (one hopes) to respect our parents, teachers, and elders, school rules and traffic laws, family and cultural traditions, other people’s feelings and rights, our country’s flag and leaders, the truth and people’s differing opinions.”

    Seems to be pretty basic “rules of the road” .. anyone who has the desire to be respectful is simply someone who cares little or nothing for anyone but themselves.. or in other words, a sociopathic narcissist.