The Antlers ejected from Mizzou Arena for second straight game
The Antlers, Missouri's legendary unsanctioned spirit group, gets booted from Mizzou Arena
By JEFFREY FLANAGAN FS Midwest
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Far more interesting than
Missouri's sluggish but somewhat routine 78-64 victory over IUPUI on Monday night was what went on in the stands at Mizzou Arena.
For the second straight home game, The Antlers, Missouri's legendary unsanctioned spirit group, was kicked out of the game and escorted by police and security out of the arena. Most of the crowd of 6,605 fans heartily booed the ejection.
On Saturday night, The Antlers were ejected 15 minutes before the game against Gardner-Webb even started.
The back-to-back ejections is the latest in a long series of friction between The Antlers, founded in 1976, and the Missouri administration. In 1996, the group was banned for the season.
Saturday's ejection was believed to be the result of one of the group's longest staples, a chant that greets opponents: "Scum, scum, scum, go back to where you're from ... and die." Apparently as a concession to the Missouri administration, the group changed the final part of the chant to "and cry."
But one of The Antlers told The Columbia Daily Tribune on Sunday that the group was ejected shortly after shouting the revised chant.
But what caused Monday night's ejection is less clear.
A member of the group tweeted on The Antler's Twitter account shortly after the ejection: "The cop in the 'hospitality' room said that in this day and age you can't have sexual references in what you yell."
Missouri athletic director Mike Alden addressed a few reporters after the game but would not indicate what specifically The Antlers had said to merit the ejection. Alden instead repeatedly referred to the university's statement of values: Respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence.
"When we see people that don't reflect the values of the institution," Alden said, "... (then) certainly we're disappointed as a university."
Asked if The Antlers, who have pushed the boundaries of good taste for decades, had suddenly crossed a line, Alden said, "I'm not going to address that. I'm going to tell you once again: Respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence. It's important as an institution, not as an athletic program. I hope everyone understands that.
"This is a collective position by our institution. We want to make sure that our students and our staff reflect this institution with class and dignity and respect and responsibility and discovery and excellence. When they don't, it's very disappointing."
Alden also would not address if The Antlers would be allowed back in Mizzou Arena this season.
"We have high standards for our students and staff," he said. "I'll go back to what I said: Respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence."
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email email@example.com.