Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

EDITORIAL: Alabama Fan's Punishment Was Just

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

EDITORIAL: Alabama Fan's Punishment Was Just

Article excerpt

Brian Downing is paying a high price for one of the century's dumbest stunts. He should. It was a gross violation of decency that humiliated a person who had done nothing to him.

Downing is the Alabama fan who performed an obscene act on an LSU fan in a Krystal burger joint on Bourbon Street after the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans in January. Prosecutors agreed to allow Downing to plead guilty to two obscenity charges and serve two years in jail.

It could have been worse. The deal allowed Downing to avoid more prison time -- possibly up to 10 years -- and he won't have to register as a sex offender. Downing will still have to deal with a civil lawsuit that the LSU fan filed, but he ought to consider himself fortunate.

Some Alabama fans have complained that Downing's actions were a prank that got out of hand and that he is being targeted by sore losers who want to exact a little revenge for a lost football game. It's possible that the animosity between LSU and Alabama fans played a part in his prosecution. …

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