Police use pepper spray to disperse rowdy W.Va. fans

Updated: October 23, 2003, 11:55 AM ET

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University and city officials will study videotape and photographs to identify rowdy football fans who set fires in the streets after the Mountaineers' 28-7 upset of No. 3 Virginia Tech.

"If there are students in the pictures, and I'm sure there will be, they'll be hearing from our student affairs office and will be disciplined accordingly," university spokeswoman Becky Lofstead said Thursday.

No one was seriously injured, police Sgt. Mike Lantz said.

At least a dozen of about 90 fires set early Thursday were described as "sizable" by emergency officials. One car was damaged, the street was littered with broken glass, bottle rockets and firecrackers.

One student was charged with battery after punching an officer, police said. About 20 other people were charged with setting fires, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.

At one point, about 5,000 students gathered on the main road. Inside the stadium, police used pepper spray on fans who tried to tear down the goal posts after the Mountaineers' victory.

This week, West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez left messages on students' answering machines, taped a video shown on the football field scoreboard and made other requests for fans to act responsibly at Wednesday night's nationally televised game.

Earlier this month, the university disciplined three students who participated in similar post-game mayhem after the Mountaineers' 22-20 loss to No. 2 Miami, Lofstead said. One student was expelled.

"It's definitely out of hand," Lantz said. "We just can't continue like this every time we have a night game or a national game."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index