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College football: Adults, be on your best behavior at fan appreciation days

Fan appreciation day is where a kid can be a kid and an adult can act a fool. If you've never been to “Meet the Cowboys” or “Meet the Sooners”, you might think I'm kidding. Unruly behavior at fan day? Sadly, yes.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: August 2, 2013 at 11:00 am •  Published: August 1, 2013

“Our numbers have decreased,” OU senior associate athletic director Kenny Mossman said, “but we have a very manageable event.”

OU isn't the only school that has been forced to take extreme measures to regain control of these autograph sessions.

A couple years ago, Texas implemented an online lottery for admission to its fan appreciation day. Only 250 fans are chosen. An email ticket earns entrance for them and one guest.

No one can bring their own memorabilia either. The school saw more and more items signed by players being sold in various places, and it didn't like it one bit. Now, Texas provides items — posters and such — and only allows them to be autographed.

All of that might sound a bit restrictive, but I don't blame the fine folks in Austin. Things had gotten crazy, and they took steps to fix it.

Hard to knock that.

Neither OU nor OSU seem poised to move to anything as severe as Texas. In Norman, the move to kids only went smoothly the past two years, and in Stillwater, somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 fans made their way through the autograph lines last year.

Then again, it would only take a knucklehead or two to screw things up. And it wouldn't be kids who would cause problems either.

So, listen up, adults — if you're going with your kid to OU or going to get autographs yourself at OSU on Saturday, have fun. Enjoy yourself.

And be on your best behavior.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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