UI fundraising event canceled as a result of scuffle allegedly involving football players

Apr. 1—The West Treasure Valley chapter of the Vandal Scholarship Fund voted 17-1 in favor of canceling the fourth annual Vandal Summerfest event scheduled for June 6, eliminating an estimated $35,000 in donations.

According to an email sent by the chapter's president, Marg Chipman, a Feb. 10 incident on the UI campus in Moscow where reportedly "40-45 football players, some wearing ski masks and carrying broken PVC pipes," was the "direct cause" of the decision to cancel the event.

Moscow police responded to the scene just before 11 p.m. Feb. 10 because of a "large fight" with multiple people, according to a dispatch report.

According to Moscow police captain Tyson Berrett, witnesses at the scene said Idaho football players were involved.

EMTs treated two to three students at the scene.

According to the email obtained by the Tribune, when the players were told to leave by a senior civil engineering student from Weiser, "one of the defensive linemen (who they all could identify as he was not wearing a mask) sucker-punched him in the face, knocking him out, breaking his nose and causing a concussion."

"People have died from similar blows," Chipman said in the email. "And we are so thankful that didn't happen. But who knows the long-term effects, both physically and psychologically, this trauma will have on him and his family, which includes five generations of Vandals."

The Vandal Summerfest event raised more than $60,000 to the VSF in the last three years, with a goal of another $35,000 in 2024.

"After this incident, none of us could see ourselves going out and asking for sponsorships or selling tickets in light of this situation," Chipman said. "Not when one of our own was brutally attacked."

The victim's father was the biggest sponsor during the three years of the event, according to Chipman's email.

"We know there is an ongoing investigation," Chipman said. "But if the volleyball incident is any indication of how long it will take, we don't hold out much hope for speed and decisive action. These kids must be held accountable; they don't only represent themselves but thousands of Vandals who came before them, many of whom contribute their hard-earned money to provide for these student-athletes' education."

Pixley may be contacted at (208) 848-2290, or on Twitter @TreebTalks