What Oregon Fans Did To Love & His Family

Following our game against Oregon in Eugene, Stan Love was so upset about how Kevin and his family were treated by Ducks fans that he said this:

"I've had several people say — several — that if that was the last school on earth, I wouldn't send my kid there," Stan said.
I will be honest with you. Reading that quote I thought at the time that it was a bit too much from Mr. Love, especially given the fact that Pat Kilkenny, Oregon's athletic director had apologized to UCLA for his fans’ behavior and that he reportedly left messages for coach Ben Howland, athletic director Dan Guerrero and Stan Love.

However, now I am not so sure if it was an over-reaction on Mr. Love’s part. If you haven’t done it yet, check out SI.com's a must read article on what Oregon fans did to Kevin Love and his family leading up to and during the game in Eugene. From Grant Wahl of SI.com:
Kevin Love knew it would be bad. But not this bad. Sure, he'd chosen UCLA over Oregon after being the consensus national player of the year as a senior at Lake Oswego (Ore.) High -- but what happened to his home state's rep for peace, love and understanding? On Jan. 23, the day before the -Bruins-Ducks showdown in Eugene, Love found more than 30 voice-mail messages on his cellphone when UCLA stopped for a layover in San Francisco. He listened to the first one: If you guys win, we'll come to your house and kill your family. He played another: We'll find your hotel room and blow your f------ head off with a shotgun. He -didn't bother to check the rest. "I mean, these were death threats," Love says. Shaken, he called his mother, Karen, and had her cancel his cellphone service.

Robert Husseman knew it would be bad. But not this bad. A sophomore math and business major, Husseman is a member of the Pit Crew, Oregon's rabid, 1,500-strong student fan club. He had attended the weekly Pit Crew meeting that Monday, heard that Love's cell number was circulating among members, but did not dial it himself. While nobody has ever called the Pit Crew PC -- its members once printed a thousand copies of an embarrassing picture posted on Facebook of Stanford's Fred Washington at a party -- Husseman -couldn't believe the chorus of homophobic chants directed at Love from the McArthur Court student section after UCLA took the floor. "I -didn't even bother with [saying] the chants," Husseman says. "I hoped they would die quickly, but they -didn't."

Stan Love knew it would be bad. But not this bad. Stan, who is Kevin's father and the sixth-leading scorer in Oregon's history, arrived at his alma mater that night in a party of seven including Karen, Kevin's 13-year-old sister, his grandmother and his uncle Mike, a cofounder of the Beach Boys. But good vibrations were in short supply. Stan says his family was pelted with popcorn cartons and empty cups, as well as a barrage of profane -insults ("every filthy word you can think of"), including screams of "whores" that made Kevin's grandmother cry. "There were six-year-old kids with signs saying KEVIN LOVE SUCKS," says Stan, who -endured a hail of one-finger salutes to snap photographs of the worst signs. "It was the grossest display of humanity I've ever been involved with. To think I'm sitting at the school where I played ball, and just because my kid -didn't pick Oregon he gets abused like that? I'll never go back there."
Read the rest of it here in which Wahl uses the incidents around Love and Eric Gordon (IU freshman who ditched Illinois for the Hoosiers) when they came back to their home state to describe how the environment around certain college programs have gone down to a disturbing level.

I wanted to put this issue behind us, especially given the fact that the Oregon AD had issued an apology. However, reading the article makes the Oregon administration which at first tried to make the excuse of "free speech" in justifying allowing this kind of behavior look extremely disingenuous to be kind. I wonder now if that apology from Oregon AD would ever materialize if not for the national humiliation that put extreme pressure his athletic department.

Now we be careful not to broadbrush the entire Oregon fan base because of the absurd, classless, disturbing, and threatening actions instigated by some idiots of Oregon's Pitt Crew. To their credit there were number of Oregon fans, who were appalled and disgusted by the behavior of their student section. That said reading that story from SI.com made me appreciate our student section that much more who never thought about treating Luke Walton (even during our darkest years under Lavin) the same way. It also reminded me of the stories we heard about what Toby Baily had to endure in different Pac-10 arenas where nimrods were hurling racial slurs based on his background. It was disgusting. I hope we never have to read any article about our students/alums treating anyone (no matter what team he or she plays for) that was. That is simply despicable and unacceptable.

The notes in that SI.com story are simply unbelievable. Oregon students and their athletic administration (who initially tried to play this off as a "free speech issue") ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Anyway, let’s move on and focus on tonight’s game. Hopefully Kevin and co. will come out with the same tenacity tonight like they did in that ugly night in Eugene.

GO BRUINS.
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