Oregon students could face charges over snowball fight; football player suspended

The Sideshow

University of Oregon students could face criminal charges over a snowball fight that got out of control last week.

Part of the fight was captured on video and posted to the Web. There, it quickly went viral, racking up millions of views.

In the video, a large number of students toss snowballs at each other, clearly having a good time. Things take a turn for the unruly when a driver attempts to maneuver a car down the street where the students are gathered.

Rather than let the vehicle, reportedly driven by former professor Sherwin Simmons, pass by, the students pelted it repeatedly. In addition, one student threw a large bucket of snow on the car. When the professor got out of the car, he was pelted some more, and not in a "isn't this fun" kind of way. 

According to KOMOnews.com, a spokesperson for the university Police Department said that a sergeant believes the students may have committed criminal offenses like disorderly conduct and harassment.

Oregon Ducks football coach Mark Helfrich said that he is conducting an investigation into whether his players participated.

Via Yahoo Sports:

"On Saturday, I was made aware of an incident that occurred Friday afternoon during the snow day involving multiple Oregon students, including members of the football team," Helfrich said in a statement. "The behavior exhibited in the video is completely unacceptable and dangerous. We take this matter very seriously and disciplinary actions have begun."

(Update: Helfrich suspended tight end Pharoah Brown for the Alamo Bowl game against Texas on Dec. 30.)

University employee Kathryn Mayfair also found herself in the middle of the battle. She told KATU News, "There were probably 100 to 200 students, a select few leading the charge. They stopped my vehicle, pelted it with snowballs packed pretty hard like ice balls." She told KATU that the the snowballs' impact "sounded like a rock hitting the windshield driving down the freeway."

She told the Oregonian, "They started out having good fun, it kind of went to a mob mentality, and in the end I don't believe — I don't know everybody this happened to — but I don't believe anyone got hurt. Yes, they broke student conduct code, and if the UO has a procedure for that, then that's what should happen."

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter at @mikekrumboltz.