Maryland students loudly supported their team at the Duke game. Did they cross a line from enthusiastic to obnoxious?

You all know athletic department administrators still wince when students yell "You suck" after singing Gary Glitter's "Rock & Roll, Part 2," which the university forbids the band from playing. Administrators don't like hearing obscenities in general chanted at ballgames.


Of course, the issue isn't confined to Maryland. Let's be clear about that.

I posed the question about Maryland fans' behavior yesterday to Maryland's president, C. D. (Dan) Mote Jr.

This is what Mote, who attended the game, said:

"We work on that. The coaches work on that a lot -- [they] speak to the fans," he said.

Mote continued: "You're a supporter of freedom of speech, I presume? So you know what the range of policies is that are available. Sportsmanship is very important to the university, it's very important to the ACC."

"A lot of things that they [the fans] do maybe are not seen as offensive to young people as they are to people my age."

Mote mentioned the play in the second half in which Duke guard Nolan Smith slammed into a pick by Dave Neal as Eric Hayes brought the ball up court. Smith had to be helped off the floor.

Said Mote: "Did you notice when the Duke player was injured and had to be helped off the court, the fans -- the students -- all applauded for the player?"