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Horn gets silenced-causes uproar


For UD fans, games now a no-fun zone

Saturday incident brings rift between school, football followers to forefront 10/13/11

NEWARK — Matt Delaney never wanted himself and his trumpet to become central figures in the growing rift between the University of Delaware and some football fans.

When he was tooting his horn in Section J at Delaware Stadium — or at NCAA title games in Chattanooga, Tenn., or Frisco, Texas — it was about bringing attention to the Blue Hens.

“I did everything I could to try to get our section and the stands excited for the ballgame and to support our ballclub,” he said.

But when Delaney, 31 and a 2003 Delaware graduate, did that Saturday night, it set off a chain of events that riled Blue Hens rooters and led to a commotion involving fans and UD police. The incident, some fans say, exemplifies how UD football games in recent years have become less appealing as administrators have made the experience more expensive and less fun.

In the third quarter of Delaware’s 21-0 win over William & Mary, Delaney was escorted down the stairs from his row Q seat in Section J of the East grandstand after playing his trumpet, as he’s done several times each game the last 15 years.

Other fans sitting in the area stood and booed Contemporary Services Corp. (CSC) security personnel and UD police officials as Delaney was led out. Underneath the stands, he was handcuffed and taken to UD police headquarters.

He was not charged, but many fans, angry over Delaney’s removal, left their seats in protest, leading to confrontations between fans and police underneath the stands.

Some had chanted “Trum-pet! Trum-pet!” as they saw Delaney led away.

One fan, 60-year-old Robert W. Bradford, of Bear, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, according to UD police, after he chest-bumped an officer, was pushed back, charged at the officer and was wrestled down by several officers.

Friends of Bradford disputed that version, saying he was provoked. They said he won’t comment on the advice of an attorney. Other fans felt police overreacted.

“What I observed was shameful, and I’ve been attending games a long time,” said UD graduate and season-ticket holder Reza Moqtaderi.|newswell|text|Sports|p

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