Northwestern athletic department looks into Ryan Field theft

Patrick Svitek, City Editor

The Northwestern athletic department says it is investigating how two students — one of them posing as an event staff member — were able to steal several pieces of game equipment during NU’s prime-time matchup with Ohio State.

“We have looked into what happened and are continuing to look into the specifics,” said Paul Kennedy, spokesman for the athletic department.

The students are accused of stealing a yard marker, football and event staff jackets from Ryan Field on Saturday night. They were arrested and charged with theft after authorities surrounded them in the student section.

One of the students boasted he slipped past security guards by presenting himself as a “stadium engineer,” according to a witness. Kennedy said the students probably did not attract much attention because they blended in after taking the jackets from the event staff coatroom in Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Despite the incident, he said event staff dealt with few other issues as the Wildcats took on the Buckeyes in front of a sold-out crowd and packed student section.

“A lot of our security protocols were proven quite strong,” Kennedy said. “This was just an interesting case of somebody who was able to go in undercover as a stadium employee, basically.”

— Patrick Svitek