Policy changes after cheer hoax

When Maryland beat Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 26, 2005 a clever prank added to the disappointment of the Blue Devils' first loss of the 2004-05 season and embarrassed one of the most famous student sections in college basketball.

After receiving a tip from what later turned out to be a Instant Messenger screen name falsely claiming to be a Duke student, former head line monitor Steve Rawson added untrue information about Terrapin forward Nik Caner-Medley onto the cheer sheet prepared for the Cameron Crazies to use in heckling Duke's opponent. The fan contacted Rawson through his "Cheersheets" screen name and claimed that "NCM's girlfriend is named Myra, and her pet name for him is 'Piggy,'" according to the paper that was distributed as Duke fans headed into the game.

The nugget of information was a ploy to get the Crazies to chant "Myra Piggy" or "Myra and Piggy," both of which sound like the name Myron Piggie.

Piggie was an AAU coach who plead guilty in 2000 for paying five high schoolers-including Duke standout Corey Maggette-over $35,000 while they were still amateurs. Maggette originally denied the allegations but ultimately admitted to having received cash from the former crack dealer. Duke was never punished by the NCAA for the incident even though there appeared to be an infraction because the athletic department learned of Maggette's wrongdoing only after he had left school for the NBA following his freshman season.

While the Blue Devil fans never did chant anything sounding like Myron Piggie, students did make oink noises and chant "Piggy" in Caner-Medley's direction. There was also a sign referring to "Piggy" held up in the graduate student section while Caner-Medley was shooting free throws. Caner-Medley ignored the fans' shenanigans while leading the Terrapins with 25 points that night.

Nevertheless, news that the Cameron Crazies had been fooled surfaced on internet message boards and was printed in the Maryland student newspaper, The Diamondback.

This year's head line monitor, senior Lauren Troyer, said the procedure for creating the cheer sheets has changed in response to the prank. Instead of collecting information through an e-mail account and Instant Messenger screen name as Rawson did last year, Troyer is asking her fellow line monitors to ask the Crazies in line for the game for ideas for cheers. This way, she said, only Duke students will be able to submit cheers.

"Last year anyone could submit something and there was no good way of proving who it was from," Troyer said. "I don't think it was that effective. They wanted us to say Myra and Piggy but the bottom line was we never did it that way. They got us, they tricked us. But it didn't come across as they intended."


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