Maryland to curb Terrapins fan vulgarity

March 26, 2004 at 9:10 AM

COLLEGE PARK, Md., March 26 (UPI) -- State officials have told the University of Maryland they can restrict the use of vulgar signs and chants by fans at campus sporting events.

Assistant Attorney General John Anderson wrote in a four-page opinion the university may "constitutionally adopt a carefully drafted policy that prohibits offensive speech at Comcast (Center)."

The university requested the state's attorney general review the school's existing policy in the wake of a Jan. 21 incident at a men's basketball game that angered and embarrassed school officials and alumni, the Washington Times said Friday.

In the final minutes of a 68-60 loss to Duke, fans directed a sustained, vulgar chant at Blue Devils guard J.J. Redick.

School officials said school policy prevented them from stopping fans from screaming expletives at opposing teams or wearing T-shirts bearing vulgar slogans because those actions are protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.

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