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The Orange::44 Legislation Project: Part 1

This should be passed by Congress, but it won't be.
With the summer approaching its end quickly, and football coming back soon, that means our annual summer hiatus here at Orange::44 is ending as well. We thought what better way to come back with a bang then start with a big refresher in fandom. We are all fans but a lot of fans, especially at Syracuse, have some bad habits. This series is designed to show the rules and regulations of fandom as I would legislate. As someone with a law degree this is the kind of junk you have to sift through in school and in the profession so for all you out there thinking about heading to higher learning in the law, just look at all the fun you can have. For the rest of you, read all the statutory words that should be easy to understand in their plain meaning and look for the comments to further explain the sections of the law and the justifications for them. This is a multiple part series that will lead us right into our annual Big East Football Prospectus. Don’t worry if you don’t agree with every part, we’ll allow you to file amendments when the series concludes, and the ones that make sense will be posted and full credit will be given. Once the process is done we’ll sign it into law and call out the fan base accordingly if people violate these laws. Legislative fun for all! #LAWYERED.

Brian Harrison’s Law of Fandom in College Athletics Chapter 1: Fan Guidelines
Part A: Allegiances

[Sec. 1(a)]
(a) GENERAL RULE: A college or university sports fan must only support one (1) school in Division 1, 2, and/or 3. The primary team of the individual will be the school at which he or she attended or attends. An individual may choose up to two (2) secondary teams in another athletic division, providing for a selection of no more than one (1) primary team and two (2) secondary teams to support, each in their own athletic division.
[Sec. 1(b)]


    (1) Subsection (a) shall not apply when an individual is married or engaged to someone from a non-established rival school. If married or engaged a person may be free to adopt a spouse’s primary team as a secondary team to support, no matter what division the individual’s primary or secondary teams are in. This then allows for a selection of a possible four (4) teams total. No other teams are permitted.

    (2) Subsection (a) shall not apply if your primary team does not field a team in a certain sport that an individual is a fan of. In this instance it would be permissible to support a secondary team in that sport only, regardless of division, and only if that school is not an established rival of your primary team.

    (3) The subsection (a) provision about a person’s school that they attended becomes their primary school shall not apply if a person never attended a college or university. In that case a person may pick any primary team at will.

    (4) Subsection (a) shall not apply if a person lives in the near vicinity of a college or university they did not attend and they wish to make that school or university their primary team. In that case, as long as a person discontinues showing support for their initial primary team and/or the school they attended, this will be allowed. Otherwise the nearby school may only be added as a secondary team, allowing for up to four (4) total teams. This exception is void if the nearby school is an established rival.

    (5) In the case of a transfering student, the new school shall be their primary team, and they will discontinue all support for the previous college or university institution. If it is the case that an individual goes to graduate school, the primary team shall remain the undergraduate institution and the graduate institution shall become a secondary team except in the case of an established rival. This again provides for a total of four (4) teams, three (3) being secondary.

        [Sec. 1(c)]

        (c) DEFINITIONS


            (A) A college or university constitutes the following:

              (i) An institution of higher learning requiring the completion of high school or their equivalent before enrollment;
              (ii) An institution recognized by the NCAA to compete in intercollegiate athletic contests.

          (2) SUPPORT

            (A) Support for a team constitutes the following:

              (i) Yelling or participating in cheers designed to boost a team’s performance or hindering that team’s opponent;
              (ii) Purchasing/wearing items or apparel of a team, especially while at an athletic contest;
              (iii) Purchasing season tickets of a team;
              (iv) Painting a part of your body in some manner with team colors;
              (v) Using any media source to communicate arguments for or in defenses of a primary or secondary team or to disparage an established rival or any other college or university.

          (3) PRIMARY TEAM

            (A) A primary team constitutes the following:

              (i) A team a person feels the most affinity or loyalty for;
              (ii) A team that a person shows the most support for.

          (4) SECONDARY TEAM

            (A) A secondary team constitutes the following:

              (i) A team that a person feels a slight affinity or loyalty for;
              (ii) A team in a different athletic division from a primary team a person has a tangential connection with.


            (A) A team’s opponent will be considered an established rival if:

              (i) The team’s opponent is a member of the same conference as the team; or
              (ii) The team’s opponent is:

                (I) A yearly feature on the team’s schedule, regardless of conference affiliation; and
                (II) There is a long, recognized history between the two colleges or universities.
            The theory behind this opening piece of the legislation is to define the parameters of rooting attention a person gives to any team or teams. Basically, this assures that a person only has one rooting interest or one horse in the race. This is especially to assure that people, when enrolled at one particular college or university, or is an alumni of a particular college or university , whole heartedly supports that team and discards any secondary allegiances from family, growing up, or any other external sources.

            The real impetus of this section of the law is to stop dumb students from schools to root for the team they grew up with even after enrolling at a different school. For example, if you go to Syracuse, and when Seton Hall comes to town you wear a Seton Hall jersey while in the Syracuse student section, that should not happen. Ever. This would ensure that if you go to a school, which you or your parents are paying for you attend I might add, that then becomes your one and only allegiance, as it is supposed to be. If you wanted to go to Seton Hall you should have gone to Seton Hall son. Face it, Seton Hall is easier to get into than Syracuse. It is the intent of this legislation to prevent double allegiances, especially in conference, and especially with rivals.

            This legislation would also cure the very public offense of wearing a rival school’s apparel on your campus. This would also eliminate even just another division team’s apparel. However, as specified, this would not affect hometown allegiances with different divisions of interscholastic competition. The best example would be rooting for Syracuse, a Division 1 school, and then a Division 3 school from your hometown, or perhaps that your father is a proud alumnus of.

            This legislation allows for an engaged or married person to adopt their significant other’s team as well, to promote marital harmony in the house. However, notice that this exception does not allow for that adoption if the spouse went to an established rival school. Despite a lasting bond of love being present, that is not enough to override the fact that you married a rival. While this rivalry should be friendly, it should be maintained and enforced. It was written as engaged or married, because simply dating is not enough of a bond to allow the adoption of another team. When you get serious, so can your love of someone else's team.

            Of course not everyone goes to college as well. It has been the policy of this legislative body never to exclude the hometown crowd. Therefore we provide that any person that did not attend college can pick a primary team, and that people that live in the vicinity of a school can incorporate that into the schools they support. Local support is always critical to a program, no matter the level of competition.

            A transfer rule is in effect, allowing for the situation to which a student transfers to a different undergraduate institution. If that is the case, the primary team clearly should become the new institution. There is a reason you transfered after all. Similarly, it provides for the situation, much like many people have, of individuals attending graduate school. Obviously if you go to a graduate school in a different division this situation is moot to the primary team issue, however obviously rivals are not allowed (why are you attending a rival's graduate school?). However, your education is most important, and you still have your primary team anyway.

            It should be very obvious, but there is a running theme of not allowing any exceptions for making an established rival a primary or secondary team. The established rival rules will be more flushed out in the next section as well, however it is necessary to be included statutorily in this section as well.

            There is also an exception for when your school does not field a team in a sport you particularly enjoy. This could be called the “Lacrosse Exemption” or the “Title IX Exemption” or anything of the like. It allows for you to root for a different school in the same division that plays a sport your school doesn’t have. That seems fair.

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            7 Responses to “The Orange::44 Legislation Project: Part 1”

            1. # Anonymous Anonymous

              I feel like there should be some sort of rule regarding failure to support your local team when you have no solid reason to hold an allegiance to another school.

              For example, if you grew up within a certain distance of Syracuse and didn't attend college somewhere else, then you're primary school should be Syracuse.

              There are too many CNYers supporting other programs that they have absolutely no reason to care about.  

            2. # Blogger Brian Harrison

              I see your point. The problem is that that's forcing alliegence upon someone to a school that they may feel no genuine connection to, even if they live nearby. The intent of this legislation is to correct bad fan behavior, not force support of any one team. While this legislation allows for someone living near a school to pick one [Subsection(b)(4)], nothing good can come from forcing someone to root for a school. It will always end badly.  

            3. # Blogger Josh


              While I support the general principle that one should have a primary rooting interest that supersedes all else, the theory that one should discard one's lifelong allegiance to one's hometown team in favor of the school one attends needs further exceptions related to the quality of the attended school's program and its competitiveness with the hometown school.

              To wit, I grew up in Syracuse and developed a deep and abiding love for all things orange. For undergrad I attended a school whose athletics programs were an afterthought to most of the student body, other than the one football game against our heated rival. The football team is in 1-AA and the basketball team is DI but terrible. In neither case is there much chance of ever having the two schools come into direct competition in either major college sport. I maintain my allegiance to Syracuse as my primary team. If the two schools ever met on the gridiron or hardwood, I am certain I would continue to support Syracuse. I just don't care much at all about my undergrad school's teams. There was little reason to care when I was matriculated, and even less reason to care several years after graduation. I submit that the law makes sense when the two schools are on more or less equal footing in the college sports landscape (your Seton Hall example is thus valid), but should be amended to handle the case that one school is a giant and one is hardly worth mentioning.

              Secondarily, I now go to grad school at an ACC school and I hate this school's teams with a deep and abiding passion. I root for them to lose to pretty much everyone they play in all sports. I would suggest that Exception 5 be modified from "shall become" to "may become", so as to not force one to become a fan of one's grad school's teams if one does not wish it.

              Josh from Cuse Country  

            4. # Blogger Brian Harrison

              I will address when sober this coming week. Good work on the comment either way.  

            5. # Anonymous CuseFanInSoCal

              My situation is similar to Josh's, but more so. I went to a Division III school where nobody ever got excited about our athletics, except to feel slightly smug when we beat MIT at something (because, well, most of us didn't get in to MIT), and never went to grad school. If my alma mater makes a run at the D-III national championship, I'm all there for them. Go Engineers. But for serious college sports, I'm an Orange fan.  

            6. # Blogger Benny J

              As a transfer student (and now Syracuse alum), I have to object to the transfer rule a little bit. You do transfer for a reason, but that reason could be, say, due to a very personal thing that you don't have a lot of control over. (Just as a totally random example: a very ill parent.) And no matter the reason, it's a personal choice and a hard thing to do. /soapbox

              Anyway, I went to the University of Michigan for the first year and a half of undergrad and then came "home" to Syracuse for personal reasons and finished my studies there. While I was at Michigan, I absolutely fell in love with the football tradition. I grew up on Syracuse sports and was generally known to my UM friends as "the Syracuse kid," but the Michigan football experience absolutely blew me away. But my first love and true passion was and has remained Syracuse basketball. So, basically, I have a different primary team in each sport. I know who I'd root for in either case should the two teams play each other, and I'd never pull any AJ Hawk's sister nonsense. Since it is my alma mater, Syracuse gets the nod in all non-football situations; I follow Syracuse football about as passively as I follow Michigan basketball now.

              I probably just sound like a frontrunner but since my freshman year (2006, in which Michigan was a dumb personal foul away from playing Florida for the title), M football hasn't been so hot (and neither was SU basketball when I transferred in 2008). I don't know, just something to consider, that one team's strong tradition might make you a convert even after you leave. I'll let you and the jury come to a decision. Maybe I'm just a weird case because, seriously, from a first-hand perspective, in terms of tradition (and seating capacity)...

              Michigan : football :: Syracuse : basketball  

            7. # Blogger Brian Harrison

              On it's face, Exception (b)(4) would allow you to make a school you live near your primary team and allow you to make the school you attended a secondary school except in the case of them being rivals. As long as you are wishing to cease rooting for your school as your primary team I believe this legislation would allow what you are proposing. However, during our amendment process if you wish to attempt to further clarify this action of making your hometown team your primary team give it your best shot and we'll of course give it all consideration.

              Your situation is even more cut and dry than Josh seeing as Syracuse and your alma mater are in different divisions. Your alma mater would be your primary team but Syracuse would be your secondary team. However, nothing in the regulations state that you cannot root for your secondary team as much as your primary one. It is merely a function of the rule that your alma mater automatically becomes your primary team. However if you root for both school that's fine. Really this is a matter of affinity, not necessarily quantity. Because D3 is not as highly regarded or the fanfare is not as much as D1, then a different measurement for support must be used. Therefore rooting hard for Syracuse is simply abiding by the standard natures and customs of D1. It's really a semantic nature of nomenclature between primary and secondary for you, but essentially has no practical effect in your case. Again though, if you feel compelled, file an amendment to further clarify your situation when the time comes. Thanks for reading.  

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