Following a lackluster first-half performance between the Duquesne Dukes and Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday night, the Duquesne fans amongst the crowd of more than 7,000 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh became ecstatic as they saw a defensive-minded Duquesne team take advantage of an overall sloppy Nittany Lions offense. The Dukes, who turned Penn State’s 23 turnovers into 22 points, controlled most of the second half, with their counterpart in blue able to come within only 4 points of the Dukes during the last minute of the game. During the final minutes of the game, as a surge in sophomore guard Jerry Jones led to the Duquesne inking their sixth win of the season, the Dukes’ student section chanted, “Jerry!….Jerry!….Jerry!” (alike to the chant from “Jerry Springer” everyone has known since pre-teen years); something that has been adopted since Jerry was a freshman. Additionally, a staple of every student section is to taunt opponent teams with a “warm up the bus” and/or “hit the showers” chant when their team has guaranteed the win. With seconds left in the game, up 66-59 over the Nittany Lions, the Duquesne Dukes’ student section did just that, yelling “hit the showers” multiple times.
As I returned to my college home in Pittsburgh’s South Side, while watching SportsCenter highlights of Indiana’s buzzer-beater over Kentucky and replays of the outrageous events involving the goons of the Cincinnati basketball team, I began catching up on Twitter via my iPhone. Between all the frivolous tweets about not studying for finals and the occasional tweet about the Dukes/Nittany Lions game, I almost spit out the Corona I was enjoying at the time. No, it was not due to the alcohol; this was due to one particular 118-character tweet from @Ben_Jones88, or Ben Jones, a reporter who covers Penn State basketball and football for StateCollege.com. The tweet read, “Duquesne student section chanting ‘Jerry’ and ‘Watch the showers’ as Penn State leaves the floor. Some players as well.” Although the former of this tweet is, in a sense, true, the insinuation Mr. Jones seems to convey is outright disgusting and frankly pathetic. Now, although I cannot speak with regards to the comments a few Duquesne students (who foolishly came to the game apparently drunk) may or may not have said, I believe I can speak for the 10,000+ current undergraduate and graduate students, and for the countless alumni of Duquesne University, when I say that our school does not, and will never, make a mockery of any serious situation, such as the one Penn State is currently enduring. From the average interpretation of Mr. Jones’ choice of words, it is apparent that he either wants pity from his readers or wants to make Duquesne and its students an example of some outlandish point.
In no way am I trying to berate Mr. Jones, his reporting, or Penn State as an institution. After being made aware of this opportunity to clarify aforementioned situation by one of Penn State’s own, my goal in writing this is for Penn State students, administrators, and especially Ben Jones to understand that Duquesne University prides itself on being a mission-centered and mission-driven institution, and through profound moral and spiritual values, Duquesne students, past and present, are expected to devote themselves to serving the Church, the community, the nation, and the world. This, contrary to what Mr. Jones tried to convey, is nothing said student(s) would have done to anyone, especially to those indirectly and directly affected by the alleged misconducts of one man. As a Duquesne University senior, I felt it necessary to clarify any misunderstandings that may have arisen from the indecorous and fictitious words of Ben Jones regarding Duquesne students. My hope is that this fabricated issue is forgotten and our students can chant, without hesitation, when the Duquesne Dukes visit the Penn State Nittany Lions next season.