A Look At 2017 Stadium Arrests, Ejections and Incidents From Big Ten Fanbases

By Dan Hope on June 4, 2018 at 8:35 am
Camp Randall Stadium
Jeff Hanisch – USA TODAY Sports

Football and alcohol can be a dangerous combination, and the Big Ten was no exception in 2017.

It's time for our annual look at arrests, ejections and other incidents from around Big Ten football stadiums last season, which found that while all schools need police intervention at times while hosting football games, some universities and their respective police departments were compelled to remove patrons from their stadiums or take further action more often than others.

To compile the information you will find below, Eleven Warriors requested public records from every school in the Big Ten, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, for data on the arrests and ejections that occurred at each school's football stadium and surrounding areas before, during and after each of their home football games in 2017.

The amount of data we received in return varied by school, as some universities keep more comprehensive records than others while the way arrests, citations and ejections are tracked can also vary by school.

Three schools, meanwhile, cited state or federal exemptions in declining our request for data. Northwestern, as a private institution, is not subject to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. Penn State, along with other Pennsylvania universities, is exempt from public records requests under state law. Rutgers cited an exemption from providing public safety and criminal investigatory records under New Jersey's Open Public Records Act.

While data from the other 11 schools is presented in tabular form below for your interpretation, it's worth keeping in mind that in addition to the differences in records provided by each school, the policies enforced by each university, laws enforced by each state and how strictly they are enforced at each university's football games can also vary, which plays a part in the number of arrests and ejections at each stadium beyond the simple variable of how well-behaved each fan base is.

That said, you can read on below for more details on the arrests, ejections and other incidents at 2017 Big Ten football games from each of the 11 universities who provided data, while you can also look back at our 2016 report and 2014 report – as compiled by former Eleven Warriors football beat writer Eric Seger – to compare this year's data with previous years. 

School Games Arrests Ejections Attendance Arrests/1,000 Ejections/1,000
ILLINOIS 7 1 7 276,003 0.004 0.025
INDIANA 6 18 2 263,715 0.068 0.008
IOWA 7 12 26 464,357 0.026 0.056
MARYLAND 6 3* 26 237,859 0.013* 0.109
MICHIGAN 6 15 139 669,534 0.022 0.208
MICHIGAN STATE 7 129* N/A 507,398 0.254* N/A
MINNESOTA 7 8 7 310,506 0.026 0.023
NEBRASKA 7 25 141 628,583 0.040 0.224
OHIO STATE 7 61 24 752,464 0.081 0.032
PENN STATE 7 N/A N/A 746,946 N/A N/A
PURDUE 6 4 25 287,303 0.014 0.087
RUTGERS 7 N/A N/A 278,245 N/A N/A
WISCONSIN 7 137 167 551,766 0.248 0.303

*Maryland's total is specific only to alcohol-related arrests, and may not include all arrests. Michigan State's total includes all arrests for the campus area for the 24-hour days on which Spartans home games took place last season, but is not specific to arrests of fans attending games or tailgating outside games.

East Division

Ohio State

Ohio State reported a total of 39 alcohol-related arrests and five other arrests inside Ohio Stadium on football game days last season, along with 10 alcohol-related arrests and seven other arrests outside Ohio Stadium last season. Additionally, two citations for open container violations were issued at the Oct. 28 game against Penn State.

The highest total of arrests occurred at the Buckeyes' home opener against Oklahoma on Sept. 9 – the Buckeyes' only night game of the season – when 11 alcohol-related arrests and two other arrests were made inside Ohio Stadium and six alcohol-related arrests and two other arrests were made outside Ohio Stadium.

The second-most arrests came at the Buckeyes' second home game of the season against Army, when 10 alcohol-related arrests and two other arrests were made inside Ohio Stadium and one alcohol-related arrest was made outside the stadium. The third-highest total was at the Penn State game, when eight alcohol-related arrests were made inside the stadium and one other arrest was made outside the stadium.

Ohio State also reported a total of 24 ejections from Ohio Stadium last season, with the highest total also occurring at the Oklahoma game (nine). Five ejections were made during the Army game, four ejections were made during the Buckeyes' Oct. 7 game against Maryland and three ejections were made during the Penn State, with only one ejection at each of the other three games.

By comparison, Ohio State reported totals of 22 alcohol-related arrests and four other arrests inside Ohio Stadium, four alcohol-related arrests and one other arrest outside Ohio Stadium and 25 ejections in 2016, the first year that Ohio State began selling alcohol inside Ohio Stadium.

In 2015, when Ohio State did not sell alcohol inside Ohio Stadium, the university recorded only 14 alcohol-related arrests and four other arrests inside the stadium and only seven alcohol-related arrests outside the stadium, but issued 65 alcohol citations and 85 ejections.


Of the 18 arrests reported at Indiana football games last season, 10 of them occurred at the Hoosiers' Thursday night season opener against Ohio State. Two of those arrests were made inside the stadium, while the other eight were made in surrounding areas.

Indiana also reported four arrests (three in stadium) at its Sept. 23 game against Georgia Southern, three arrests (two in stadium) and two ejections at its Oct. 14 homecoming game against Michigan and one arrest inside Memorial Stadium at its Nov. 4 game against Wisconsin.

Indiana did not provide details on why each arrest was made.


Three alcohol-related arrests took place during football games at Maryland Stadium in 2017: one during the Terrapins' loss to Northwestern on Oct. 14, and two during the Terrapins' 66-3 loss to Penn State on Nov. 25. The data provided by Maryland only included alcohol-related arrests, and did not specify whether any other arrests took place at Maryland Stadium during Terrapins games last season.

Of the 26 ejections reported at Maryland Stadium last season, eight took place during the Terrapins' loss to Michigan on Nov. 11, while five ejections took place during Maryland's wins over Towson on Sept. 9 and Indiana on Oct. 28.


The annual rivalry game against Ohio State was the busiest game day of police activity last season at the Big House, as there were 48 ejections and five arrests during the Buckeyes' 31-20 win. Most of those ejections, along with the 71 ejections made across the Wolverines' other five home games, were made for disorderly conduct, alcohol inside the stadium, possession of another's identification or passing identification to another.

Arrests made at Michigan Stadium during the 2017 season included arrests for assault and domestic assault, both during the Oct. 7 night game against Michigan State. Michigan reported four arrests last season for minors in possession of alcohol, four arrests for disorderly conduct (two with resisting and obstructing), two arrests for larceny, two arrests for retail fraud, one arrest for counterfeit tickets and one arrest for use of a controlled substance.

Michigan also issued verbal warnings at its Sept. 16 game against Air Force to four vendors for sales without permits, as well as a verbal warning for operating a drone.

Michigan State

Michigan State provided data on all arrests that took place in the campus area on each of the seven days that Spartan Stadium hosted home games last season, but did not specify which arrests occurred during games or tailgates. Michigan State does not keep records on stadium ejections.

Of the 129 arrests reported on game days, 57 arrests were made for minors in possession of alcohol, while 59 arrests were listed only as miscellaneous. Four arrests were made within three miles of Spartan Stadium for operating under the influence, while one minor arrested for alcohol possession was also arrested for aggravated assault on a police officer.

Michigan State reported 32 arrests, the most of any 2017 game day, on Sept. 23, the day of its 8 p.m. game against Notre Dame. MSU reported 27 arrests on Sept. 9, the day of its 3:30 p.m. game against Western Michigan, and 25 arrests on Sept. 30, the day of its 4 p.m. game against Iowa.

West Division


Illinois reported a total of seven ejections and one arrest for the 2017 season, all of which were alcohol-related. Five Illinois students were ejected for open alcohol during the Illini's Sept. 9 game against Western Kentucky. An intoxicated patron with no ticket was ejected during the Illini's Oct. 28 game against Wisconsin, while an "intoxicated, disorderly subject" was ejected after leaving Illinois' Memorial Stadium and attempting to re-enter during the final home game of the year against Northwestern.

The lone reported arrest was during Illinois' Nov. 11 game against Indiana, when an intoxicated female was arrested for resisting/obstructing and trespassing.

Illinois also reported an incident prior to its Sept. 29 game against Nebraska in which four males were gathered, transported to their vehicles and advised not to return after selling shirts that said "bitchass" in the Grange Grove tailgate area outside Memorial Stadium.


All 12 arrests at Kinnick Stadium last season were for public intoxication, while one subject was also charged with public urination. None of the patrons arrested were Iowa students.

The highest number of arrests took place at Iowa's Sept. 23 game against Penn State, when four people were arrested, while three arrests were made at the Hawkeyes' Nov. 4 game against Ohio State.

Of the 26 ejections reported at Kinnick Stadium last season, 10 of them occurred during the Hawkeyes' upset win over the Buckeyes, while nine ejections were recorded during Iowa's Oct. 28 game against Minnesota.


Minnesota reported a total of 18 incidents during the 2017 football season, with eight resulting in arrests. A non-student male was booked on a charge of disorderly conduct during the Gophers' Nov. 11 game against Nebraska, while six citations were issued for underage consumption. One citation was issued for intoxication after a male student refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Minnesota reported a total of nine incidents (three ejections) involving underage consumption and seven other incidents (three ejections) involving intoxication, with blood-alcohol levels ranging from .189 to .368, the highest being recorded by an underage female student in a parking lot outside TCF Bank Stadium at the Gophers' Sept. 16 game against Middle Tennessee State.

An ejection for theft was also reported at the Middle Tennessee State game.


Nebraska reported a total of 141 ejections from or denials for admittance to Memorial Stadium occurred last season, with the highest totals coming during the Oct. 7 game against Wisconsin (39) and Sept. 2 season opener against Arkansas State (34), both mid-afternoon games. 25 ejections or denials were reported for the Cornhuskers' Oct. 14 night game against Ohio State.

Additionally, 25 citations were issued at Nebraska home games last season, with 13 being issued at the season opener and five each issued at the Wisconsin and Ohio State games.

Nebraska does not maintain a compiled report indicating reasons for each ejection, denial and citation.


Purdue reported a total of four arrests during the 2017 football season, with three arrests made for public intoxication at the Boilermakers' Sept. 23 game against Michigan and one arrest made for resisting law enforcement at the Boilermakers' Oct. 28 game against Nebraska.

A total of 25 ejections were also reported last season, with 11 of those ejections coming during Purdue's season-ending rivalry game against Indiana. Five of those ejections were for smoking inside Ross-Ade Stadium, five ejections were for disorderly conduct and the other was for intoxication.

Seven ejections were made during the Nebraska game, including four ejections for battery. Reasons for the other ejections from those games, as well as two ejections from the Michigan game and five ejections from the Boilermakers' Friday night home opener against Ohio on Sept. 8, were not recorded. No ejections or arrests were reported from Purdue's Oct. 7 game against Minnesota or Nov. 4 game against Illinois.


The last team in the Big Ten alphabetically was first in the conference among schools that provided data in both arrests and ejections in 2017, topping the charts with 137 total arrests and an additional 167 ejections for which citations were not issued.

As you might expect at a university that is often ranked as the top party school in America, many of those incidents involved students and alcohol. 

Of the 137 people arrested at Wisconsin football games last season, 121 were cited for underage consumption of alcohol while 86 were Wisconsin students. Other citations issued at Camp Randall Stadium included five for obstructing/resisting arrest, four for disorderly conduct, three for trespassing, one for use of a fake ID, one for entering the playing surface, one for throwing hard objects, and one for drug possession.

Of the 167 people ejected from Camp Randall Stadium last season, 74 were Wisconsin students. 58 people were ejected for intoxication, 34 people were ejected for seating issues in the student section, 33 were ejected for possession of alcohol, 30 were ejected for tobacco usage, 10 were ejected for disorderly conduct and two were ejected for disorderly conduct.

In total, 50 individuals involved in incidents at Wisconsin football games last season recorded a BAC of .20 or higher.

The highest game total of arrests at Camp Randall Stadium last season took place during the Badgers' Friday night season opener against Utah State, when 25 people were arrested, while the highest total of ejections (including arrests) was at the Badgers' Nov. 11 game against Iowa, when 63 were ejected (23 arrested).

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