SUNY Cortland President apologizes for Cortaca behavior

On Sunday, SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum apologized for students' behavior at Cortaca on Saturday.

"As the president of SUNY Cortland, I would like to personally apologize to the Cortland community for the inexcusable behavior of some of our students related to Saturdayâ??s football game with Ithaca College. Please be assured that the College will work closely with city officials to implement measures intended to prevent this type of activity from occurring again.

The annual Cortaca game is a time-honored athletic tradition that SUNY Cortland and its alumni take great pride in. Unfortunately, as we all saw Saturday, the athletic contest has become secondary to the celebration for some students, guests and visitors to the community. As an institution dedicated to academic and athletic excellence we are determined to turn this destructive culture around. I have been in communication with the Collegeâ??s top officials over the weekend and we will meet together to discuss the options Monday morning. We will meet with city officials as soon as possible after that. Together, we will consider any and all ideas as we move forward.

SUNY Cortland takes pride in maintaining a positive, mutually beneficial relationship with its neighbors and the surrounding community. Several years ago, collaboration between the College and the city allowed us to stop the destructive Clayton Avenue block party that used to occur every spring. We are confident we can have a similar impact on the unruly celebrations surrounding Cortaca."