Brawl mirrors past


A brawl between members of the NIU football team and members of the Sigma Chi fraternity allegedly occurred early Friday morning.

DeKalb Police Officer James Spartz said a fraternity member called at 4:11 a.m. Friday to report a fight which had broken out at the fraternity’s house, 910 Hillcrest Drive. The fraternity was holding an after hours party.

Spartz said no complaints have been filed yet concerning the incident and charges are pending. “All the suspects in the case are members of the NIU football team,” he said.

Spartz, however, could not go into the details of the case because it is still under investigation. He did say the case should be resolved by the beginning of next week.

According to DeKalb Police reports, a battery and criminal damage to property at the Sigma Chi house were reported Friday. Two related accounts of criminal damage also were reported Friday. Two cars were damaged while parked at the Sigma Chi house, police said.

The reports stated that several white male subjects, apparently from the NIU football team, attempted to gain entry to the Sigma Chi party. Upon being told it was a private party, they became angry and began damaging vehicles, police said. The damage to the two cars totalled $595.

Larry Bolles, director of the University Judicial Office, said some students have contacted his office concerning the incident. “We’re just trying to sort it out,” he said.

Although no complaints have been filed, Bolles said several students have taken complaint forms from the office and spoken to him about the incident.

“I am looking at individual behavior,” Bolles said. “The university is not very happy with the fact this took place.”

Bolles said the fraternity members claim only one fight happened, while the members of the football team claim two fights occurred. “I’m inclined to believe there was at least more than one fight,” Bolles said.

Bolles said the alleged first fight began when a football player refused to leave the party after being told to do so by members of the fraternity. About 10 to 20 fraternity members allegedly attacked the football player because he wouldn’t leave, he said.

“They (fraternity members) allegedly decided to toss him (the football player) out on his ears,” he said. “They beat him pretty bad.”

Bolles said at least two football players apparently were involved in the first fight.

The alleged second fight occurred when the beaten football player returned to the fraternity house with about seven members of the football team to get “revenge,” Bolles said. “That definitely happened,” he said.

Bolles said at least one member of the football team, the football player who refused to leave, and one member of the fraternity were treated and released from Kishwaukee Community Hospital after the incident. The fraternity member received a “busted or broken nose,” he said.

Bolles also said, “Alcoholic beverages were present and could have been involved.”

Members of both the football team and the fraternity are preparing statements for the Judicial Office, he said. “I do think I know all parties involved,” he said.

The Judicial Office has received a statement from NIU Football Coach Charlie Sadler which was “very supportive,” Bolles said. The statement contained the names of all the football player involved in the incident, he said.

Sadler, however, did not return phone calls Tuesday.

Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell said he is aware the fight occurred. “I’m still gathering information,” he said. “When I know all the details, I can respond.”

O’Dell said no action will be taken until documents are filed and the investigation is complete.

He said, however, “The expectations of young people representing the university athletic department are very high. If the department’s reputation is tarnished, I become very concerned.”

Sigma Chi President Brian Koenings said he has been advised not to comment on the incident until the investigation is complete. “It’s under judicial review and under review from the police,” he said. “Until everything gets pieced together, nothing can be done.”

Michelle Emmett, director of University Programming and Activities, said her office also is looking into the incident. “We’re in the information-gathering stage,” she said. “We have minimal information at this time. We really don’t know what’s happened.”

Dawn Sturma, activities adviser for Greek Affairs, said she will be handling the investigation of the incident.

Sturma said her office still is waiting to receive word from the DeKalb Police on possible arrests pending. “The next step is to look at the organization involved,” she said. “Then we contact the IFC (Interfraternity Council) and have them do a formal investigation.”