Wednesday, March 12, 2014 | 2:57 p.m.
Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Dan Klaich called on university students to exhibit “good sportsmanship” after tensions between UNLV and UNR students boiled over during a rivalry basketball game last weekend.
“I understand folks get excited, but there are ways to express that excitement that doesn’t tear anyone down,” Klaich said this week.
Tempers flared between UNLV and UNR students at Lawlor Events Center in Reno on Saturday.
A group of about 50 UNLV students were attempting to create a circle inside the arena to shout a “Rebels” chant when opposing UNR students started to taunt, gesture and throw trash at the UNLV students, according to UNLV Student Body President Mark Ciavola.
Ciavola said he responded by making an “inappropriate gesture.” Arena security then escorted Ciavola from the game, he said. Contrary to some online reports, Ciavola said he was not handcuffed or arrested.
“Things got a little heated,” Ciavola said. “We should not have let them get to us, but we did. I don’t think anyone was proud of their behavior.”
Around the same time, the UNLV student government’s Twitter account tweeted several messages at a UNR fan that “went too far,” Ciavola said. The profanity-laden tweets were taken down Sunday, he said.
“We’ll address it and take care of that internally,” Ciavola said of the UNLV student who sent the tweets.
Klaich’s comments come after an especially tense year of rivalry games in football and basketball, both of which ended with upsets.
Before the UNLV-UNR football game this past fall, some UNR students uploaded a YouTube video that at one point referred to UNLV as a “waste of state money.” Klaich, who initially believed the video was created by the UNR athletics department, sent a terse email to the presidents of UNLV and UNR, condemning the student-produced video.
UNR representatives had the students take down parts of the video that depicted the Wolf Pack logo.