UConn fans (mostly) stay under control for this title

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The last time UConn won the men’s NCAA tournament, the Dean of Students Office spent time tracking down people responsible for much of the damage around the Storrs, Conn., campus back in April ‘04.

This time, the school tried to get ahead of the game. From the Hartford Courant:

University officials, in conjunction with the UConn police department, sponsored a viewing party to provide students with a safe alternative to street parties. An e-mail co-authored by university President Philip Austin and police Chief Robert Hudd was sent to students midday Monday to urge them not to partake in criminal activities, which was the case when the Huskies won national championships in both men’s and women’s basketball in 2004. After the men’s basketball team won, the university arrested 35 people.

“Unfortunately, too often at campuses across the nation postgame celebrations have gone from exuberant to destructive,” the letter read. “Nothing can be gained from harmful, destructive, or criminal actions. However, anyone who engages in this sort of behavior does have a great deal to lose, including risking arrest and possible expulsion from the university.”

The result was mostly successful.

About 8,000 fans came to Gampel Pavilion to watch the game. Once it was over, they poured out into the streets for more revelry. The result? Minor property damage – a couch was set on fire, a car was overturned – and 12 arrests, mostly for charges related to vandalism and criminal mischief.

“There have been sporadic fires, either dumpster or couch” UConn police Maj. Ronald Blicher told the AP. “Not an awful lot though. For the most part the celebrations have been in good nature.”

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