Cats in Final Four; campus goes Wild: March 29, 1985

By Anthony Edwards ’85

Over $18,000 in damage was caused March 24 as students celebrated Villanova’s victory of the University of North Carolina. Estimates for clean-up costs ran to $12,000 for the grounds in front of Sullivan. It will cost $5,000 for repairs to two cars.

Maintenance crews began the clean-up process on Monday morning. According to one maintenance worker, “We’ve been here all day and we’ve still got a long way to go.”

The grounds around Sullivan and Sheehan were covered with broken beer bottles, pizza boxes and empty beer balls. The trees were filled with toilet paper and each trash can in the area was knocked over.

In the ‘Pit,’ Sunday’s food fight lasted only approximately five minutes. According to one witness, “People started to dive under the tables when the plates and glasses began to fly. Then it ended and the workers escorted everyone out.”

The ‘Pit’ was closed for the rest of dinner and re-opened for breakfast Monday morning.

According to J. Les Gies, director of food services, there was nothing security could have done. “If these things are going to happen, all the security in the world isn’t going to stop it,” said Gies.

Gies continued, “This was very surprising. We didn’t expect anything like this would happen.

We’ve got to take precautions for the students and the employees. The University is liable for lawsuits and, besides that, how do you explain any accident that might happen?”

The Rev. John P. Stack, O.S.A., dean of students, commented that “[making the Final Four] is a great thing for the University. But we all have to work together to try to keep the damage at a minimum. Having celebrations and parties is great,but the students have to police themselves. They [the students] end up paying for the damage and they can stop it if they want.”

Student reaction to Sunday night was positive. “I felt like I was in college for the first time,” said one Sullivan Hall resident.

Because of the damage, all eight Sullivan and Sheehan Hall resident assistants will be on call at all time this weekend, with at least four on duty. One Sullivan Hall R.A. said, “They want to try to prevent something like this from happening again.”

According to Stack, “All in all, things were pretty good. It could have been a lot worse. The thing with the cars though was ridiculous. One of those was a security person’s personal car and another was an R.A.’s. There was not need for that.”

Gies asked for student cooperation. “How do you explain that someone got a scar from the exuberance from a basketball victory. In 10 years from now, it won’t matter who did what in basketball, but if someone gets hurt, they have to live with it for the rest of their lives.”

Pep rally welcomes Cats

By Diana K. Sugg ’85

The Villanova Wildcats were welcomed home this Sunday night by a pep rally, for which and estimated 6,000 people gathered at the Field House. The team beat the University of North Carolina Sunday in Birmingham, AL, winning the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, and a spot in the Final Four playoffs this weekend.

“The pep rally was bigger than any of us thought it would be,” commented Paul Romanelli, who, as president of the Basketball Club, organized the event. According to Romanelli, only 4,000 people were expected to attend the rally, which was described as “fantastic.”

Earlier last week, Romanelli obtained permission for the Field House to be open late, and also got a D.J., Howard Harding, to play music at the event. He also called all the major radio and television stations, many of whom attended the rally and publicized it. The doors of the Field House were opened at approximately 11:30 p.m., and students socialized, danced, and cheered for Villanova while waiting for the team to arrive from the airport.

According to Romanelli, the players, who arrived about 12:45 a.m., were “shocked” by the magnitude of the event. Many people spoke at the rally, including several team members, Coach Rollie Massimino and the Rev. John M. Driscoll, O.S.A., University president.

Luke Nolan, student body president, who also spoke, commented “I didn’t say very much; the students said it all.” He said that although there were a few students who were hard to control, it was “a celebration that was good,” and that it “boosted morale around Villanova.”

“We wanted it to be more spirit-oriented than party-oriented, and it turned out to be both,” commented Romanelli, who said that he was “really pleased” with the way things went. He said that there was a lot of crowding towards the stage, but that it was controlled; and although there were some bottles, none were thrown.

Students who were asked about the rally had nothing but positive comments about it. “The pep rally was incredible,” commented freshman Russell Crossman. Sophomore Susan Vignola, who was also there, said that “the Field House was packed-everyone came out and supported the team.” Another sophomore, Maureen Robinson, said, “Everyone was totally psyched; the players deserve the big welcome they got.”

According to Romanelli, there are no definite plans as of yet for another pep rally this weekend, since he, as well as other officers of Basketball Club will be in Kentucky for the game. He said he is “trying to find someone who will be here to organize it.”

No classes Wednesday

The Rev. John M.Driscoll, O.S.A., University president, made the following announcement Wednesday: “In recognition of the outstanding achievements of our basketball team, I am pleased to announce that Wednesday, April 3 will be a free day for students. Thursday, April 4, will be a holiday for the faculty and administrative staff.”