Bucknell Launches Sporting Conduct Campaign
Oct. 2, 2006
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Bucknell University Department of Athletics has announced its new "Bison Good Sports!" campaign, a sportsmanship awareness program designed to promote appropriate fan conduct at all Bison sporting events.
"It is Bucknell's strong belief that every single person plays a role in good sporting conduct, and that includes the players, the coaches, the support staff, fans, the band, the students and visiting teams," said Bucknell director of athletics and recreation John Hardt. "Consistent with the ongoing discussions amongst all NCAA member institutions and conferences regarding sporting conduct, crowd control and comportment at our intercollegiate competitions, Bucknell will launch its 'Bison Good Sports!' sportsmanship campaign during the 2006-07 academic year."
"Bucknell aims to set a standard for excellence in academics and athletics, a standard reflected in such successes as our outstanding graduation rate among student-athletes and our 12 Patriot League Presidents' Cup championships," said Bucknell president Brian C. Mitchell. "This `Bison Good Sports!' program reminds us of the important role that great fans play in college athletics today, and the value of appropriate fan conduct that lets everyone enjoy the games. The standard of excellence that our Bison student-athletes are setting deserves no less, and we appreciate the enthusiasm and commitment of our supporters in exemplifying what great college fan support really means."
The objective of the campaign, according to Hardt, "is to thank our fans for the tremendous energy and enthusiasm that they bring to each of our Bucknell athletics contests while also empowering them as caretakers of the collegiate gameday experience. While the extremes of unwanted behavior and its impact on home and visiting fans are not commonplace at Bison athletics events, Bucknell and our visiting teams ask for our fans' help in keeping their support of our teams positive and cheer with positive encouragement, rather than supporting an atmosphere of intimidation that attempts to degrade opposing players and teams. We hope that our fans will continue to join our players, coaches and staff in helping all spectators find creative and ingenious ways to positively support our Bucknell student-athletes."
Incorporated into the campaign is the university's long-standing policy that profanity and vulgar language will not be tolerated and are grounds for immediate removal from the playing venue. Bucknell will take several actions in promoting a positive fan behavior in the upcoming months, including the continuation of the sportsmanship notice being made available to fans at all contests; the "Bison Good Sports!" logo will appear on the videoboards; signage promoting good sporting conduct will posted at competition venues; and, a radio spot is currently in the works.
In addition to the announcement of the "Bison Good Sports Campaign", the department of athletics and recreation also focused specific student-athlete programming earlier this fall to discuss the role our student-athletes and coaches play in fostering an environment of good sporting conduct. "The Speaking Specialists," leaders in the field in providing communications, leadership, speech and sportsmanship training to student-athletes at all levels came to campus on Sept. 12. This comprehensive, interactive program was designed to generate thought and discussion among student-athletes facing the top issues of today. Specific emphasis was given toward practicing good sportsmanship both on and off the playing field and representing their school, team and themselves in a positive light in everything from helping in recruiting to job interviews.
Bucknell sponsors 27 intercollegiate sports, including 14 for women, at the Division I level (I-AA football). It is a charter member of the Patriot League and has won the league's all-sports championship in 12 of the 16 years it has been contested, including 2005-06. Bucknell annually ranks among the national leaders in graduation rates and ranks fourth in Division I in producing Academic All-Americans.