It comes as no surprise, considering this is the second time in ten days that it’s happened, but Kentucky Wildcats students once again took to the streets to celebrate–this time they were celebrating last night’s national championship win over the Kansas Jayhawks.
After their Wildcats defeated the Jayhawks for the program’s eighth national title and first in fourteen years, 15,000 students filled the streets in celebration. The excitement, however, quickly turned to chaos, as several fans were wounded in the melee.
Over twenty people were taken to local hospitals to be treated for injuries resulting from fighting or thrown objects, such as beer cans and bottles.
The group set over forty fires, according to the Lexington police department, after students lit up couches, piles of garbage, mattresses, a garage, and even a car.
Even worse, a lone gunman entered the crowd, firing several shots before fleeing the scene. One man was wounded by the random gunfire, though fortunately, his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
In another incident, a car crashed into a patio of a local restaurant where dozens of people were eating and celebrating, though tragedy was averted as the vehicle was stopped by a brick wall before entering the area in which the patrons were dining.
Dozens of people were arrested, and many others were given citations for various offenses, primarily involving public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and criminal mischief.
The University of Kentucky president warned the student body that those participating in the riot could not only be facing criminal charges, they may also face suspension or expulsion from the university.
Though the scene after last night’s win wasn’t as bad as the rioting that occurred last weekend after Kentucky defeated the Louisville Cardinals in the Final Four, police warned students and fans that this time, they would be prepared and unruly behavior would not be tolerated.
Unfortunately, the warning fell on many deaf ears.
Of course, this group doesn’t represent the majority of Kentucky Wildcat fans, but it doesn’t reflect well on the group as a whole either, albeit perhaps unfairly.
I have never understood the whole mentality of hitting the streets and participating in harmful behavior to celebrate a win, even a monumental victory such as this.
Whatever happened to winning with class and dignity?
As Vince Lombardi once said, “Act like you’ve been there before.”
And goodness knows the Wildcats have. Eight times now, to be exact.