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SMU Kicks Students Out of Entire Section Over Masks

Paul Steinbach

Southern Methodist University finished off No. 25 Memphis on Saturday, 30-27, but many SMU students were't there to see the finish.

As reported by the CBS affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth, the entire SMU student section was cleared out during the first half of Saturday's game due to some not wearing masks or social distancing.

In a statement, the SMU athletics department said some of the students failed to follow the safety guidelines in place due to COVID-19 and that staff and security tried numerous times to get them to comply.

“During the game, some students began to gather and disregard these safety measures. They were asked to spread out and mask when in close contact. After numerous attempts by staff and security to get the students to comply with these safety requirements, it became necessary to clear the area,” the statement read.

The school said many of those students left the game, while some moved to other areas of the stadium, which was only filled to one-quarter of its capacity.

Reminders of the safety guidelines were sent out during the week and staffing was increased in the student section to monitor compliance, the school said.

“While no one at SMU wants to see fans leave, it is important to preserve our privilege to host games with fans in attendance during a pandemic. The health, safety and wellbeing of our fans and students is our highest priority and we must enforce safety requirements to the greatest extent possible and to operate as we have promised local officials. Our hope is that students will be able to return for our next home game and we will continue to work toward that goal,” the statement read.

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