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Letters to the Editor

The Beef Studs are revelers, not bullies

Re: Letters to the Editor, “Beef Studs acted rudely, unprofessionally Saturday,” by Heather Kozabo, Nov. 13.

According to Heather Kozabo, the Beef Studs acted in a manner that does not support team spirit.

Here is the truth about Saturday.

As soon as the gates open at Raymond James Stadium, members of the Beef Studs go in and sit in the same seats they have for the past five years. President Alec Smith is the only member of the group who has been here for the entire existence of the Beef Studs. Upon arrival to their usual seats, members found several individuals sitting there.

While there is no assigned seating, it goes without saying that the Beef Studs and the Bullies occupy the first three rows of that section. I politely said to a gentlemen wearing a USF lacrosse shirt that he and his friends might be asked to slide a few seats down to fit the Beef Studs into the three rows.

The gentlemen told me that if I had a problem with them sitting there that I would have to “do something about it” – threat No. 1 that wasn’t by the Beef Studs. I then proceeded to tell him that I was only telling him due to the fact certain Beef Studs would take offense to his seating choice, only to be threatened again.

These were the group of people that Kozabo described as having the “sick friend.” Sick isn’t the term for it, as a female companion of the individual said he was caught smuggling alcohol into the stadium and decided it would be a good idea to drink the entire bottle of liquor he was carrying. He was heavily intoxicated, and so he became extremely sick. Several members of the Beef Studs expressed their concern for the man, only to be told by his female companion to mind their own business, but not in such polite language.

Heated words were then exchanged, which led to the man in the lacrosse shirt saying that he “had enough people to outnumber us,” as he claimed he would have the entire lacrosse team “take care of things” – threat No. 2 not made by the Beef Studs.

The Beef Studs typically stand the entire game. Several of the Beef Studs decided to sit down several rows back and began throwing verbal obscenities at other members when the rest continued to stand. I was right there when the conversation happened between Smith and Kozabo. His hands were never in anyone’s face.

Kozabo said she wanted him to take her out of the group, and he told her that she could “take (her)self out.” This is not a dictatorship. The Beef Studs do not force anyone to be there.

Kozabo’s letter was complete nonsense. It was extremely immature to accuse the Beef Studs of being something they fight so hard to not be – attention-driven, drunk punks. Drunk punks are those sitting in the Beef Studs’ seats who threatened to “take care of them” if they continued to defend their good reputation. These “punks” may have apologized but went right back to doing what they were apologizing for. Sounds a bit hypocritical.

The Beef Studs are not about being on television. They are about promoting USF and its athletic teams. Are there ever any TV cameras outside when they show up five to seven hours prior to kickoff? Not one. Are there ever any cameras at the soccer games when they paint up for those?


Now answer me this: How can a freshmen in her first semester at USF, new to the Beef Studs, say they are only about being on television? They have never fought with fans and never had trouble with the police. Five years of existence, and this is the first documented complaint about the Beef Studs. Ironically enough, it was made by a freshman who hardly knows anything about the Beef Studs or its history.

Making up stories to make them look bad is slander. And I, as a member of the Beef Studs, will not stand for their hard work to be demolished by someone who cannot handle situations maturely.

As for those who had the intoxicated friend: Next time, get him out of the heat and don’t let him down a whole bottle of liquor.

Scott Bergoch is a junior majoring in communication and is a member of the Beef Studs.

The Beef Studs were disrespectful, abusive

Re: Letters to the Editor, “Beef Studs acted rudely, unprofessionally Saturday,” by Heather Kozabo, Nov. 13.

I was in the front row during Saturday’s game, right next to the gentleman who was ill. I can honestly say that I have never been so disgusted by the actions of my fellow students.

I can attest to Heather Kozabo’s story, as I was right in the middle of it all. Though I did not see the altercation between Heather and Alec Smith, I did see a few members of the Beef Studs harassing students in the front row for the majority of the game.

It started when a group of students, including myself, sat in a few seats the Beef Studs usually occupy because the seats my friends and I usually sit in were taken. There is no assigned seating, and just because one group of people usually sits in a spot doesn’t mean other students can’t sit there.

A couple of the Beef Studs got angry because my friends and I took “their spot,” and they kept heckling my friends, the ill person and me. No one was threatening them. The Beef Studs were heckling students, and the students were simply reacting.

At one point, the cheerleaders were in front of the student section with two young girls. The Beef Studs were screaming profanities, and the younger girls could hear everything they said. Other students and I tried to tell the Beef Studs to stop cursing because there were kids on the field, but they wouldn’t listen. One woman on the field even spoke to them, but nothing was done about their lack of respect.

I was truly disheartened by the disrespect the Beef Studs showed. I’m all for team unity and a fan base like the Beef Studs, and I think it’s great they paint themselves for the games and show their spirit. But when school spirit turns into a group of egotistical students who harass other students for not being as “hardcore,” there is a problem. If a student wants to sit down during a game or is ill, that student should not be harassed by their classmates.

The Beef Studs are no better than any other student just because they paint their bodies or arrive to the games seven hours early. They deserve no special treatment. It infuriates me that the University funds students whose actions went totally against the goal of their organization. Danielle Grenier is a senior majoring in marketing.

Abuse doesn’t show any team spirit, Beef Studs

Re: Letters to the Editor, “Beef Studs acted rudely, unprofessionally Saturday,” by Heather Kozabo, Nov. 13.

I was in the third row behind the Beef Studs, and I witnessed much of what Heather Kozabo reported. There was a student in the first row who was sick and had his head down on the railing for most of the game. He was being chided constantly by the Beef Studs and some people with them.

However, there were also some students in the front row on the other side of the sick student who would sit down when there was no action and during halftime. They also became the object of hatred after the ill student was taken out of the seats by his girlfriend.

“You don’t belong on the first row if you don’t stand up!” was the shout of the day.

The game against Syracuse was my first time near that section. It seemed as though the Beef Studs thought more highly of themselves because they get the same seats every game and do not sit down. If my memory serves me right, the seats are on a first-come, first-served basis (read also: no assigned seating and/or seat holding), and students should be allowed to sit down without being yelled at by “fans” for doing so.

Do not get me wrong – words (sometimes heated) were exchanged by both groups of students. However, it seemed as though the Beef Studs and a few of their female companions would not let the matter drop and continued to pursue the issue every few minutes. This continued until the end of the game.

If there was one single event that made me question the “school spirit” of the Beef Studs, it would be when an unnamed, male Beef Stud actually got into the face of a female student, who I assume was Ms. Kozabo, and yelled at her. I assumed it was her because she was wearing bull horns and was half-painted with green and gold colors, and she stated in her letter she was a member of the Beef Studs until she left the group during the game. To me, this is not acceptable in any fashion.

To sum it all up, there was little to no school spirit displayed, and this was more of an embarrassment to USF’s students and football program than merely arguments between inebriated revelers. My first experience with the Beef Studs will more than likely be my last.

Michael E. Harding is a USF alumnus.