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Fans ejected at Jaguars games could face online school

4:49 PM, Jul 25, 2012   |    comments
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  • Online anger management course takes 4 hours to complete, cost $75 to be paid for by football fan who is ejected
  • Jaguars say on average about a dozen fans are ejected each game
    

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are looking at joining several other NFL teams and requiring an online anger management course for fans ejected for bad behavior.

When the Jaguars kick off on Sunday afternoon, you can count on Linda Riggs being in the crowd. Riggs has been to more than 170 games and is currently the president of the Jacksonville Jaguars booster club. She's seen her share of bad behavior.

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"They literally get in fights, and the language. I don't understand why people have to get so out of sorts with a game," said Riggs. "It really irritates me when I pay good money to see that game without all that. Most of the problems are alcohol-related, with the drinking getting out of hand."

Sharon Sturges loves Jaguars football. "There's no place I'd rather be on a football afternoon than at the stadium seeing the Jaguars," she said.

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As an eight-year season ticket holder, Sturges has seen her share of rowdy fans.

"Two people will be arguing, all of a sudden a couple more join in and pretty soon another is added, somebody from three rows up dives in and it's a melee. It's unbelievable people act that way."

The Jaguars said that on average, about a dozen fans a game are ejected. They are looking at joining other teams in the league that require an online anger management course developed for the league. The course educates the fan on alcohol awareness, how disruptive behavior effects other fans and teaches them coping skills to act more appropriate at the stadium.

Currently eight teams are participating, including the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. Some require the course before being allowed back in to another game. In some cases, if fans don't take the course and are ejected again, then they face loss of their season tickets.

"Something needs to be done," said Sturges. "I think maybe they need a little support, maybe direction on how to be adults and how to have a good time without being drunk."

Riggs added, "They've just got to learn you can't control the world. It doesn't work they way you want it to."

Four-year season ticket holder Ron Johnson says he's all for it.

"If you've got fans that just come there to cause problems, get disruptive to a point you can't even enjoy, or your safety is a concern, yeah I definitely agree with that move by the NFL," said Johnson outside a Jacksonville Suns game he was attending.

The Jaguars are formulating their policy and it's enforcement and penalties according to the team. Dan Edwards of the Jaguars says that varies from team to team. 

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