John Brown University’s Toilet Paper Game Tradition Makes National Headlines

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SILOAM SPRINGS (KFSM) -- Every college has traditions of their own, but John Brown University's toilet paper game snags national headlines almost every year.

The crowd throws toilet paper on the court after JBU scores their first basket each season. The tradition is going into its 36th year and one man has had a front row seat since the beginning. Lee Netherton put on his Golden Eagles jersey for the first time in 1959, but his love for the university started long before that.

"My parents both went here, a lot of my relatives went here, so it was a natural connection," Netherton said. "A lot of things would be different if I hadn't come here."

He said many things have changed over the years at JBU, but the "TP game" has pretty much stayed the same.

Netherton said sometime in the 60s a group of guys thought it would be a good way to boost school spirit. He said the group tried to keep it quiet, but other students found out. After the first basket, the students threw the toilet paper on the court landing JBU with a technical foul.

"The coach was not real happy about it," Netherton said. "But over the years everyone accepted it and it stuck."

National media has called it "The Best Technical Foul In All Of Sports".

Netherton himself has actually never thrown any toilet paper to participate, but encourages others to do it.

"Since I keep score, I like to stay more neutral," he joked.

Athletic Director Robyn Dougherty said the university wanted to make the tradition about more than just toilet paper. This year JBU partnered with Kimberly-Clark to provide the Manna Center, a local food bank, with non-perishable food items. Kimberly-Clark will donate 2,016 rolls of toilet paper to the Manna Center and 2,000 toilet paper rolls for the toss. Spectators will get a roll of toilet paper in exchange for non-perishable food items.

The toilet paper game is Saturday night (Oct. 29) at 7p.m. against Central Baptist in the Bill George Arena.