OSU equipment manager allegedly beaten by OU fans attempting to retrieve field goal ball

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma State University football equipment manager is recovering from a broken rib after allegedly being attacked and beaten by a group of OU fans while trying to retrieve the ball following a field goal at Saturday’s Bedlam game.

“When OSU kicked the ball, all I heard was- they were like, ‘let him go, let him go,’” Brennon Bush told News 4. “They were really beating this kid down.”

OSU student football equipment manager DJ Kurtenbach was allegedly trampled and severely beaten by a group of OU fans while he was trying to retrieve the ball from the north end zone following a field goal during the second quarter of Saturday’s Bedlam game. 

“I look around and there’s just like all, like 3 or 4 OU fans and they had him up on the bleacher and they were just swinging on him and I was like okay, that’s not right. So I ran up there and I was trying to pull people off and there was people pulling me,” Bush said.

Bush said the reason for the assault appeared to be a decades old tradition where Sooner fans try to catch the ball and then throw it out of the stadium. 

“I mean, I understand it’s a tradition for OU but at some point, it don’t matter whether you have on orange or crimson, there’s no reason to, I didn’t think there’s any reasoning to do that,” Bush said. 

One of Kurtenbach’s family members posted on Facebook about the incident over the weekend saying in part, “They punched him and threw beer on him. He has a broken rib and is very sore. I don’t care who you are; there is no excuse for this type of behavior.” 

The OU Athletic Department sent KFOR this statement:

“The OU Athletics Department is aware of the interaction during Saturday night’s game between some fans and an Oklahoma State team staff member. The matter was immediately turned over to the OU Police Department and is under investigation with the athletics department’s full cooperation. No matter the outcome of the investigation, physical contact by any fan with an employee of any team is unacceptable. The department condemns the behavior of the involved fans, and once the individuals are identified, they will be banned from attending any future OU Athletics events.” 

Mike Houck Assistant AD/Strategic Communications

“I thought it was way uncalled for, over you know, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just a football,” Bush said. 

The Big 12 conference told KFOR they are aware of the incident but have no comment.

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