Monday, October 08, 2001
Pitt Victory Song Modified
Debate has divided the University of Pittsburgh since the omission of the “Fight Pitt Fight” (“Penn State Sucks” to the students) section of the Pitt Victory Song at the Panthers’ first game of the season. The athletic administration has expressed that the wording is an embarrassment to the program and fails to display the ethics of good sportsmanship. The students see the exclusion of a portion of the song as robbing them of a long standing tradition which brings fans together. Last evening, the university and the Student Government Board (SGB) reached a compromise.
“The SGB, on behalf of the student body of the University of Pittsburgh, has reached an agreement with the administration which will bring back the omitted portion of the Pitt Victory Song,” SGB president Jeff Alex declared. “Instead of the traditional chant of ‘Penn State sucks...Penn State sucks...P-E-N-N S-T sucks,’ we agreed to replace the lyrics with ‘Penn State's not the same caliber team as us...Penn State's not the same caliber team as us...P-E-N-N State’s not the same caliber team as us’. This alteration provides for a more fan-friendly atmosphere, while at the same time allows students to participate in the traditional rabble rousing of college football. It's a win-win situation for both parties, and it just makes a lot of sense.”
Now Alex and the SGB's job is to sell the policy to students. Administration has said the band will play the Pitt Victory Song in its entirety against Virginia Tech on November 3rd on a trial basis. If the students comply with the changes and chant the revised lyrics, then the verse will be reinstated throughout the year and into next year. If the expletive continues, then the segment will again be removed.
“Once the students see what is at stake, I have no doubt that they will follow along with the university's alterations,” Alex declared. “We're talking about years and years of history which will be lost if the students do not comply. I can see no other recourse of action[sic].”
University of Pittsburgh Athletic Director Steve Pederson shares in Alex's optimistic viewpoint on the variation. “We believe the students will understand and accept that this is a necessary policy for the university to adopt. We do not want to destroy the university's rich and storied traditions. However, in order to become a successful program in a new millennium, change is necessary. We also do not seek to ruin anyone's enjoyment of Pitt football, but believe fans can be equally exuberant about their team if they tone down their language a notch or two. We believe this to be the best course of action for all parties involved.”