Texas A&M University-Kingsville has become the latest institution to clamp down on tortilla tossing.
"Over the course of the past year, I wrestled with a difficult issue related to the spirit of the institution," President Steven Tallent explained in a recent statement banning the practice at football games.
Tallent called the practice dangerous, wasteful and potentially offensive.
"Many people, both Hispanic and non-Hispanic...consider it a racist gesture," Tallent wrote. "We need to be sensitive to those who are offended by throwing tortillas."
Nobody knows who started the tortilla tradition, although a report in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times claims tortillas have been flying for decades. Other universities, including the University of California-Santa Barbara and Texas Tech, have flirted with tortilla tossing, but abandoned the practice when officials threatened to penalize the home team.
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At the University of Arizona, students fling tortillas at graduation, a ritual that infuriated former President Peter Likins. According to The New York Times, Likins -- who was once hit in the face by a tortilla -- "campaigned vehemently" against tortilla tosses, ordering robe searches and threatening to cancel commencement ceremonies if the practice persisted.
Likins had the backing of local Mexican-American activists, who argued students were demeaning their culture by turning tortillas into projectiles.
Tallent stressed safety concerns in his decision: While fresh tortillas are soft as confetti, spectators have been hurt by fried, frozen and stuffed tortillas. The Caller-Times recounts the story of a 5-year old boy who was plunked in the nose by a rock-hard tortilla.
If Javelina fans do settle on another, less dangerous foodstuff for flinging, it won't be the first time a food-throwing tradition's evolved for safety reasons. In Mobile, the birthplace of Mardi Gras, revelers threw Cracker Jack until 1972, when the city banned the sharp-edged boxes. The city's now so firmly associated with the Moon Pies that replaced them that it hoists a giant Moon Pie every New Year's Eve.