The Harding-Ouachita football game is always a rivalry to watch, and it usually goes down without incident.
Not this year.
At Ouachita Baptist's homecoming game, an undisclosed number of Harding University fans decided to sit on their opponent's side because, they said, their seats were in an uncomfortable location where the sun made it extremely hard to see what was going on.
All was well until they decided to cheer on their Bison. That's when someone with Ouachita told them they'd better go back to their side.
When they refused, the phone camera came out and security arrived. From there, things got pretty un-Christian. (Harding University is "church of Christ" to Ouachita's Baptist affiliation.)
The video from the altercation found its way to Fox16 along with a note from the unnamed students behind it.
"While visiting Ouachita Baptist University football game vs. Harding University, myself and a few other Harding University students (and parents) found seats on the home side because the visitor section seats were quite sunny and did not offer a great view of the game. We respectfully went to the top corner of the stadium and took our place. Harding scored a touchdown, we stood -- respectfully cheered (aka clapped and said "Go Harding")Since Fox16 posted that message to its Facebook page, there have been a number of commenters, and it's pretty evenly divided so far, and not necessarily along partisan school/religion lines.
"We were then not so respectfully greeted by the OBU Athletic Director sitting in a press box above us. He told us to go to the other side because we don't 'belong' on their side. We explained our reasoning and thought he was joking. He then threatened to have security remove us and also thought he was joking.
"A few minutes later....this is the scene.
"A friendly rival between two Christian universities...does this show sportsmanship? Christ-like behavior?"
One commenter admitted to being a Harding University student, but being disgusted with the "Woe is me" video.
"I attend Harding," said Andrew Cook. "The Harding students should have stayed on their side just like any other game. This has been blown way out of proportion. If they would have just stayed where they were supposed to none of this would have occurred, and posting a 'Woe is me' video on Facebook to get attention is downright childish."
John Carrico disagreed, pointing out how childish it was of the athletic director.
"Ridiculous, attend any major D1 college game and you will find opposing team fans in the middle of the home team fans. For the most part they are treated in a respectful way."
Many supporters of OBU believe it's unfair to go on the video alone. They accused the student filming the altercation of being "belligerent" and "obnoxious" as he was being escorted away from the Ouachita side.
Others pointed out that if you purchase general admission tickets where there is no assigned seating, it is "ludicrous" to tell someone -- regardless of school affiliation -- where to sit.
Regardless of whom you side with, some Christians were thoroughly disgusted with both sides, believing they could have handled the situation differently.
Check the video at the link below.
Harding/OBU stadium video from Harding fans OBU stadium video from Harding fans who say they were escorted from the OBU side after cheering for Harding. They say the seats were better on the Home side and they were treated unfairly. What do you think?As for the Harding-Ouachita game itself, OBU took it from Harding 26-21, handing the school its first loss of the year.
Posted by FOX16 News on Saturday, October 3, 2015
[Image via YouTube screen grab]