CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) — The president of the State University of New York at Cortland will talk to local officials about whether to continue a longtime football rivalry with Ithaca College after hundreds of partiers trashed a neighborhood after last weekend's game, a college official said Tuesday.
SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum and city of Cortland officials have formed a commission that's looking into what happened and whether the 55-year series should continue in the aftermath of last Saturday's arrests of 80 people, including 19 Cortland students.
"In the end, it's going to be up to the students," SUNY Cortland spokesman Frederic Pierce said. "If they continue this kind of behavior, if it's thought of as acceptable by them, there are going to be consequences. And potentially one of the consequences could be the cancellation of the game."
Hundreds of people partying in houses in Cortland spilled into the streets after Cortland defeated Ithaca in Ithaca, 28-24, in the annual Cortaca Jug game. The Division III schools are 20 miles apart in central New York, and the game attracts thousands of students, alumni and other fans to the region.
Pierce said most of Saturday's crowd congregated on a street lined with homes mostly rented by Cortland students. Many partiers didn't attend the game, which was broadcast on local cable television, he said.
After the game, hundreds of people poured into the street. Some tossed objects at police who arrived on the scene to quell the rowdiness. Eventually, Cortland police requested help from state troopers and sheriff's deputies from three counties to break up the crowd.
Bitterbaum has spoken to Ithaca College president Thomas Rochon about SUNY Cortland's response, according to Ithaca spokesman Dave Maley.
"Concerns about public and student safety are being taken seriously on both campuses," Maley said. "At this point it would be incorrect to characterize Ithaca College's position as favoring, or even considering, cancelling future Cortaca games."