By David Greenberg, guest correspondent for LetsRun.com
April 1, 2019
EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Oregon will add the term “hobby jogger” to its hate speech code on Monday after an incident involving the cross country team on the school’s track. Witnesses say a pair of undergraduates recently were running in lane one on the university track when approximately 25 members of the cross country team arrived to do a workout. A coach asked the undergraduates to move to the outside of the track, but they refused.
Oregon went 2-3-4 in the NCAA 5k in June; 5 of the top 7 finishers were from the Pac-12
As a result, during the workout words were exchanged between the two groups. Witnesses say the team shouted “hobby joggers” every time they passed the undergraduates and in return, the undergraduates shouted back “Run Forrest, run!”
“We asked them nicely to stay out of lane one during our workout, but one of them said ‘I pay tuition and have the right to run wherever I want,’” said team member Kipp Smiley of Bend.
“Calling us hobby joggers is the sort of elitist insult we should all refuse to accept,” said Carla Benz of Troutdale. “I went right to the administration and filed a complaint after finishing my smoothie. I am glad no one will ever be able to use that kind of language on campus anymore.”
“The University of Oregon code of conduct requires all students to refrain from demeaning talk meant to wound by insult,” said Frank Smith, a spokesperson for the University of Oregon. “The cross country team has been given a warning and told that repeated use of such insults will result in severe consequences.”