Frog fans may have been shocked to discover a Southern Methodist University slogan on the football field Saturday, but police say TCU fans might be to blame for recent vandalism on the SMU campus.A groundskeeper discovered the giant word “PONY” followed by an up arrow sprayed on the middle of the field with a weed killer, said David Yarbrough, a supervisor at the physical plant.
The damaged field was sprayed with a liquid turf colorant to mask the slogan before the game Saturday, Yarbrough said, but the long-term effects and cost of the damage is still unknown.
SMU police officials said a TCU stencil was used to spray paint various buildings at SMU and that the water in the campus’ fountain had been dyed purple. They said numerous cars were shoe polished, one of which had its tires slashed, and the doors to a band practice facility were covered in bumper stickers promoting the TCU band.
SMU Police Chief Rick Shafer said rough estimates of damage on the SMU campus stand at $2,000.
According to a statement released by TCU, the university believes healthy competition on the field is OK, but when it turns to vandalism, it becomes an issue.
“Everyone gets a little carried away with support for their team,” TCU spokeswoman Tracy Syler-Jones said. “They don’t think clearly when they get that excited.”
The statement released by SMU echoes the same sentiments.
“In rivalry games such as those between SMU and TCU, fans of both teams can sometimes let their exuberance get the best of their judgment,” according to the statement.
TCU Chief of Police Steve McGee and Shafer both said they are working to deal with the issue. Because they have no suspects at the moment, disciplinary action has not been taken.
Shafer described the acts as childish and called for an end to the nonsense.
“Play it out on the field,” Shafer said.