CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A car was flipped on its side and at least 10 fires were set in Morgantown following the Mountaineers' victory over No. 11 Oklahoma State, authorities said.
Video of the car incident was posted to Youtube.com and shows about six young men struggling to turn the car over as others cheer them on. Laughter and screams can be heard as the unruly crowd rocks the silver Volkswagen back and forth on its side in a mostly vacant university lot.
A high-pitched voice is heard tittering and laughing. Deeper voices call out "Flip that sh-t!"
"Come on!" another yells.
"Flip it!" another called.
The first video was taken down but Carlee Lammers, managing editor of the Daily Athenaeum, saved and later reposted a copy.
The incident happened in Parking Lot 5, a 24-hour restricted parking area in the University Avenue loop near the Life Sciences Building, University Police Lt. R.L. Tucker said. He wasn't sure what time it happened, only that it was either late Saturday or early Sunday.
Tucker said the crowd dispersed and fled when a Morgantown police officer drove by. The vehicle was found on its side. He said officers spoke to the owner, but wasn't sure of the person's name.
Authorities were working to identify those involved.
"It's hard to say if they're all students," Tucker said. "Your initial inclination is to say they are, but we just don't know that yet."
University spokesman John Bolt said it shouldn't be assumed the vandals were WVU students. He said police had reason to believe at least one was not.
"If there are any students involved they will be subject to the student code of conduct," Bolt said.
He wouldn't discuss specific situations, but said students involved in such incidents generally go through the procedure laid out in the Student Conduct Code. In addition to criminal charges, they can face university disciplinary measures from suspension to expulsion.
"Over the years, and recently even, there have been expulsions over behavior," Bolt said. "We take it very seriously and we don't put up with it."
Bolt hadn't watched the video but said he followed some discussion of the incident on Twitter. He noted more than a few students were "equally outraged."
He said most students don't like that kind of behavior at their university and that it meant something "when the students are calling each other out."
Morgantown firefighters also reported 10 game-related nuisance fires around town Saturday night. All were extinguished without incident.
The university has garnered unwanted notoriety for celebrating wins (and other occasions) with vandalism, fires and rioting. Officials issued a zero-tolerance policy in 2003 for off-campus activity that resulted in criminal action.
That policy came after students celebrated a home football victory against Virginia Tech. More than 100 fires were set around the city in that incident.
Fire and property destruction followed a 2005 victory over Texas Tech that advanced WVU to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
In that instance, more than 50 fires were set and a student's vehicle was flipped over into a fire and destroyed. Tucker said two other vehicles were flipped over that night as well.
Police had to use pepper spray to force the students away. More fires were set days later after Louisville knocked the Mountaineer men out of the tournament. The university expelled 11 students for their participation in those fires.
The city mandated in 2006 that all upholstered furniture had to be removed from porches before home games in student-populated areas. In 2011, the city began filing felony charges against those caught setting celebratory fires.
Last year, more than 40 fires were set around town following WVU's football victory over then-No. 11 University of Texas in Austin. Fifty police officers, clad in riot gear for protection, were pelted with bottles, rocks and bricks as they worked to break up a crowd of about 1,000 in the Sunnyside neighborhood. Officers used pepper spray and tear gas to scatter the crowd.
Tucker said those involved in the weekend incident could be charged with destruction of property, which could be upgraded to a felony offense depending on how much damage was done to the vehicle.
Tucker said officers are investigating and are hopeful that some of the suspects could be identified from the video. Anyone with information can contact university police at 304-293-3136 or 304-293-COPS (2677).
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.