Wednesday, September 24, 2003

MU invites XU students to root against UC

By Mark Schmetzer
Enquirer contributor

OXFORD - The battle for the Victory Bell could be turning into a gridiron Crosstown Shootout.

Miami University student body president Michael Chapman has invited the entire student body of Xavier University to attend for free Saturday's 108th football game between his RedHawks and the University of Cincinnati at MU's Yager Stadium.

The game is the football version of the annual Xavier-Cincinnati Crosstown Shootout basketball game.

"Any ... Xavier student with identification will be admitted free into the game," Chapman said "Everyone wants to get a real big turnout for the game. A lot of students are interested in athletics. In the fun of a spirited rivalry, we thought it would be great to extend an invitation to Xavier to join us in the student section."

Chapman cleared the idea with Miami athletic director Brad Bates before making the offer in an e-mail and a phone call to XU student body president Natasha Hamilton.

"We had to jump on it today," XU's Hamilton said. "It will be in (the student) newspaper. We're most definitely excited about the opportunity for all three schools to come together. I believe some of the students will attend. All it's about is getting the word out so that the students know the opportunity is there."

The first 100 people at the football game who buy a ticket for the Xavier-Miami men's basketball game Dec. 9 at Millett Hall will receive a free "Go RedHawks! X out the Bearcats" T-shirt, Chapman said.

"I think it says something about the leadership at Miami that they showed the initiative to reach out and engage another campus community," Bates said. "I told them to run with it."

Chapman isn't concerned about the possibility of all 4,000 Xavier undergraduates showing up at Yager, which seats 30,012.

"That would be awesome," he said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to pack them in."

Hamilton probably will accept Chapman's offer, but she avoided saying whether she would be rooting against the Bearcats. "I'll be enjoying the game," she said.

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