Some Villanova alumni and fans, it seems, are acting more immature than your average college student.
Posters on a popular college sports message board, rivals.com, took potshots at residents who oppose the Catholic university's proposed $200 million expansion, which includes three dormitories, a six-story parking garage, stores, and a performing arts center.
The residents belong to a newly formed group called Right Plan for Radnor.
Rivals.com commentators singled out members of the group and their families for ridicule, using terms such as "overweight oaf," "gross," "imbecile," and "wild and horny" to describe them.
They also discussed getting the names of all 50 members of the group from its Facebook page and suggested that the opposition was made up of alumni of Catholic rival St. Joseph's University. Several identified themselves as Villanova graduates.
Jonathan Gust, a spokesman for Villanova, said in a statement: "This website is in no way affiliated with Villanova University. This is an independent fan site, and Villanova has no control over the content."
Right Plan for Radnor, which is a little more than a week old, took down its Facebook page this week. The group alerted the university to what was being posted on the message board.
Joe Vandergeest, a group member and Villanova's closest neighbor, found a picture of himself, his wife, and two young children on the site with snarky remarks. The picture was taken from his Facebook page.
"Look, it's a public domain," he said of the photo. "But I think it's extremely unfortunate that they would seek to debate this on a personal level and attack a family, attack my wife, attack my young children, and attack other residents.
"I certainly have not signaled out any one person. I haven't thrown any darts. I'm just trying to get an open dialogue."
The site names several members of the group, what they do for a living, and where they graduated from college. A few are St. Joe's grads.
The residents, who live near the university in the Old Oaks and Garrett Hill neighborhoods, say the expansion could potentially be the biggest building project in Radnor Township and increase traffic and students in already-congested communities.
The area would have to be rezoned to accommodate buildings that would be more than three stories and within 100 feet of Lancaster Avenue.
Over the weekend, Right Plan for Radnor paid for robo-calls to residents alerting them to the expansion plan and its impact on the neighborhoods. Kevin Geary, a founder of the group, said they wanted to "inform them of important issues that were before them that they may not know about," he said.
The calls were "anything that any normal grassroots organization would do. We don't have hundreds of millions of dollars in endowment or huge paid staffs to get our message out," he said
"Our bank account isn't fully set up yet, but if you were to look at it, you'd think we were struggling college kids eating pizza every night," he added.