A look back at LSU home games for 2013 season

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Today is LSU's final home game for the 2013 season. Looking back, police say the year has been a success regarding security.

"Overall it was an average season," Cpt. Cory Lalonde, LSU Police Department, said. "Typically, this game is a quiet one from the crowd and it's one of the calmer games of the year."

However, off-the-field drama started with the first game when fans learned about new parking restrictions caused by construction. LSU lost about 2,000 parking spaces because of various construction projects.

The LSU vs. Florida game saw the biggest loss due to parking-related issues. Roughly 15,000 seats remained empty during that game. On Monday, the University issued an apology to fans.

During this football season, we've heard from some of you regarding difficulties you've encountered in gaining access to and departing from Tiger Stadium, and we're very sorry if your gameday experience has been unpleasant at times. However, please be assured that we have mechanisms in place to address these issues," Joe Alleva, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics, wrote in his statement.

The cost of attending the game was another hot topic this season. Alleva issued a recommendation to increase ticket prices, which has been tabled for the time being.

LSU Police monitor ticket-related issues at Tiger Stadium. This season, they arrested two gate marshals for allegedly selling wristbands that allowed employee-access to the stadium. The two individuals they sold them to were also arrested.

James Oglethorpe, 34, of Baton Rouge, and Judy Wilson, 59, of Denham Springs, were arrested for felony charges for theft. They're accused of selling the wristbands for cash to Casey Adams McKenzie, 33, of Baton Rouge and Caleb A. McKinzie, 27, of Brusly.

"The wristbands gave them access to different areas of the stadium," Cpt. Cory Lalonde, LSU Police Department, said. "The wristbands are specifically for people working the event."

During questioning, Oglethorpe admitted that he has sold the wristbands at multiple games this year as well as last year. He allegedly confessed to accepting up to $140 this year and roughly $400 last year.

Oglethorpe and Wilson have both been fired.

This was not the only arrest to gain media attention. Back in September, an Auburn fan was arrested after a pre-game celebration ended with handcuffs.

The Baton Rouge Police Department reported Zachary Burgess, 20, of Hoover, AL, hopped in a car left running outside a bar in the Tigerland-area. A woman was still inside the car at the time. Investigators said Burgess then went on a joyride, hitting several parked vehicles.

Burgess, who is a lacrosse player for Auburn University, was arrested and charged with vehicle theft, kidnapping and nine counts of hitting other cars and fleeing. His arrest gained national attention after investigators revealed Burgess told them he "wanted to know what it was like to play the video game Grand Theft Auto in real life."

But out-of-state fans were not the only ones to gain attention from the national media spotlight. A fraternity sparked some heated controversy over a banner they created for the LSU vs. Kent State game.

"Getting massacred is nothing new to Kent State," the banner read.

Members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity removed the sign after being instructed to do so by LSU Police. However, pictures of the sign made their way to social media and to the Kent State community.

"LSU certainly does not condone this insensitive behavior and poor judgment by the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. LSU officials have spoken with the fraternity and believe that the students now understand the gravity of their actions. The students have issued a formal apology to Kent State University. LSU is also working with local and national DKE leaders in an effort to prevent this type of behavior in the future."

The fraternity issued a formal apology to Kent State fans and posted a second banner that said, "We would like to apologize to Kent State for our inappropriate sign."

More than feelings were hurt for one LSU fan. Matt Tugwell, 28, was struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking near the intersection of State Street and Dalrymple Drive. Tugwell was rushed to the ICU where he was treated for several fractures and a serious head injury.

Police located the suspect vehicle a few days after the crash. John Baus, III, 24, turned himself in the following morning. He was arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run, careless operation, and red light violation. He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Tugwell continues to recover from his injuries.

"It's gonna be a long time till I'm walking again and not feeling terrible, but patience, I feel, is my best friend. You people are amazing," he posted on Facebook.

Although the dramatic highlights focus on the negative aspects of tailgating, fans will continue to rally for their Tigers. We want to know about your most memorable experience during a home game this year. Tell us about it on the WAFB Facebook page.

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