First they schedule their season opener against the USC Trojans (I’m taking bets on how much they get crushed, current odds are the Trojans by 30 points).
And now they ban signs at all their games (Charlottesville Daily Progress):
The University of Virginia has banned all signs at its athletics events, a move that some are construing as an infringement of Cavalier sports fans’ freedom of expression.
UVa students were notified of the new policy in an e-mail Tuesday. “Beginning this year, signs are not permitted inside athletics facilities,” the e-mail said. “Thank you for your cooperation.”
The new policy comes roughly a year after UVa student David Becker was threatened with ejection from Scott Stadium during a UVa football game against Duke University. Becker drew the ire of stadium officials for holding up a sign in the front row that read “Fire Groh.”
However, a Scott Stadium official informed Becker that his sign violated a policy banning any signs, flags or banner that contain “derogatory comments, profanity, impede another guest’s view of the field or cover any stadium signage.”
As of Tuesday, that policy had been changed to: “All banners, signs and flags are prohibited in Scott Stadium.”
Rich Murray, a spokesman for UVa’s athletics department, said the policy shift came after much consideration and discussion about signs at athletics events last fall. The new policy applies to football and basketball games, as well as all other athletics events.
Josh Wheeler, a lawyer and associate director at the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, said that although the new policy is a blanket prohibition on all signs, it ironically raises fewer constitutional concerns than did the old policy because it is both content- and viewpoint-neutral.
“The key factor in determining the constitutionality of a restriction on speech in a public place is whether it is directed at what is being said,” Wheeler said. “In other words, does the restriction apply to all speech, and not just the speech you don’t like?”
Hmm…of course, the former is implied by the latter but one has been exact when making hyperbolic claims about someone being a fascist. ;)