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Big 12 football teams deserve top-notch fans

Saturday may be the biggest non-academic day in the 145-year history of West Virginia University: The Mountaineers play their first football game in the Big 12 Conference.

Six of the 10 teams in the league are ranked in the Associated Press's Top 25, including WVU at No. 9.

This is the big leagues. The flagship university of West Virginia has come a long, long way from its Southern Conference days.

WVU fans need to start acting like big leaguers. Obscene chants, flaming couches and flying golf balls (and trash cans) are unacceptable.

University and Morgantown officials are pushing fan friendliness and civility. About 50 volunteers in the Goodwill City initiative will wear the green and gold of Baylor, this week's opponent.

"I hope we'll create on-field rivalries but that over the years the fans will stay a little bit more friendly than we were in the past," said Chris Northrup, executive director of the student fan group known as the Mountaineer Maniacs.

There is a difference between supporting a team and using a team as an excuse for boorish behavior.

Following one's alma mater on the road should be fun. In the past, fans have forgotten they are the hosts and the other team's fans are the guests.

First-class football means first-class behavior, too.



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