Fear of violence chops Gophers-Badgers ‘axe’ ceremony

Just in time for the University of Wisconsin Badgers to hand over “Paul Bunyan’s Axe” to the University of Minnesota, UW football coach Gary Andersen has outlined a new policy that will prevent the ceremonial parading of the axe by the team that wins the game, and the ceremonial chopping of the goalposts.

“Minnesota is going to want to be as respectful as we are going want to be,” he told reporters, saying last year’s fight prompted the new policy.

He said he’s proposed banning the immediate on-field axe handover because “the world changes.”

“It’s not healthy for college football and you’re asking for trouble,” he said.

The plan is the axe will be present at the coin flip before the game, “and then it will be gone and reappear in the locker room of the winning team.”

He said the winning team is free to bring the axe back onto the field after the game, but he says he wants to avoid this: