What was supposed to be a fun, carefree day for University of Oregon students quickly snowballed out of control when students took horsing around too far.
Students were given a snow day on Friday after it snowed several inches. The usual activities of building snowmen, drinking hot chocolate, and making snow angels were overshadowed by more nefarious pranks targeting people who were attempting to leave campus for the day.
The Oregon Daily Emerald, U of O’s daily student newspaper, reported on the incident and posted the video to Youtube. It has been viewed more than 2 million times.
Former professor Sherwin Simmons can be seen in the video getting out of his car as he tries to leave campus. A young man can be seen dumping snow in Simmons’ face and inside his car. As Simmons tries to talk, snowballs are hurled his way, pelting him repeatedly in the face.
“I decided maybe if I get out, they’ll see that I’m 60 years old and I’m a human being,” Simmons told the ODE. “I was disoriented and all I wanted to do was ask why they were doing this and to please stop.”
The Oregonian newspaper reported Oregon Pharaoh Brown, a tight end on the football team, has been suspended from playing in the Alamo Bowl because of his participation in the incident.
Students, faculty and Oregonians are expressing their dismay.
A sophomore offensive lineman for the football team, Andre Yruretagoyena tweeted, “Embarrassed by the video I just watched. That’s not all of us, sending the sincerest apologies.”
On Monday the University President, Michael Gottfredson issued a statement in regards to the snowball fight over the weekend, addressing that law enforcement and campus officials were part of the ongoing investigation.
“We have identified several of the individuals involved as UO students and are determining appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken in accordance with the university’s established policies and protocols,” the statement read. “In cases where those involved are student-athletes, additional disciplinary action is being carried out by the Athletics Department, ” Gottfredson said.
The Oregonian also reported that other students involved could face disciplinary action from the school as well. Simmons and other drivers involved have said they will not press criminal charges.
OregonLive reported a separate snowball fight organized by the football team gathered more than 100 students without incident across the street at Hayward Field.