Virginia reverses ban on signs, banners after students protest

Updated: October 2, 2008, 3:46 PM ET
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com

Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage reversed his earlier ban prohibiting signs, banners and flags at Cavaliers football games, the school announced on Thursday. The move was intended to garner greater support for a team floundering at the bottom of the ACC with a 1-3 record.

It comes just days after students reportedly threatened to wear blue instead of orange to Saturday's home game against Maryland as a sign of protest.

"The policy prohibiting signs, banners and flags in all UVa athletics venues has become a distraction and has taken the focus away from supporting our student-athletes," Littlepage said in a release. "Our football team needs our support right now and that should be our collective focus. With that in mind, I am repealing immediately the policy prohibiting signs, banners and flags in all athletics venues. I encourage all of our fans to be in attendance at Saturday night's football game with Maryland. My hope is our fans will wear orange and be prepared to support the Cavaliers."

Fans' discontent for the direction Virginia's program is headed this season has grown louder each week and seemed to hit a whole new decibel following the team's 31-3 loss to Duke, one of the historically worst programs in the league. The Blue Devils' win over Virginia snapped the school's 25-game losing streak to ACC opponents.

Heather Dinich covers ACC football for ESPN.com.