College Events Security Risk

Security experts are concerned that college sports events are not as secure as other gatherings like NASCAR and professional league events.

Bill Flynn, head of Homeland Security’s protective security coordination division, said stadiums and arenas are "a concern, something that we want to pay attention to. Why? Because we’ve seen attacks overseas in resorts, hotels and arenas, so obviously while al-Qaida and the terrorists have attempted to hit hard targets like refineries, soft targets and commercial facilities become more of a target of opportunity."

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said colleges are cutting corners.

"What we found is that there’s a need for athletic administrators, campus police, emergency medical service, for all those people to have training," Thompson said.

Lou Marciani, program director for the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Spectator Sports Security Management, said NCAA football games are an easy target, with more than 48 million people attending at least one game a season.

"Sixty-two percent of NCAA schools use an outsource company to manage their security," Marciani said. "So the question is, ‘Who are these people coming in to manage their security?’"

Certification of credentialing processes, stadiums and risk management plans will quickly harden so-called soft-targets, Marciani said.