by Kyle Miller
IU students are having their loyalty questioned. The attendance in the student section for Monday’s game against Stetson was sparse at best, I agree, but why all the hate?
Indiana basketball reporters, writers and even long-time play-by-play broadcaster Don Fischer had something to say on the matter. Fischer on 1070 The Fan today said that every time we don’t get 7,600 students there you take away 1,000 tickets. Which, in all honesty, is completely accurate.
I don’t like excuses. Excuses are for two types people: cowards and liars. So, I won’t offer up any excuses, but there are reasons on why students didn’t fill the seats Sunday.
One, and probably most importantly, at the end of the day the Hoosiers were playing Stetson. The Stetson Hatters. What, is this Alice in Wonderland? I thought it was a typo when I first saw it, I mean, at least the character in Alice in Wonderland is considered a Mad Hatter. It’s like if the NBDL team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, were just the Fort Wayne Ants. Where’s the pizazz? What even is a plain ol’ hatter?
Second, tip was at 4:30 on a Sunday and it was rainy and cold. I know it’s a pathetic reason, but it does apply here. There’s nowhere close for students to park, football is on all day and curling up on the couch seems like a better option than hiking through icy rain.
Lastly, sororities were having their little “lets get together and harshly judge and berate these 18-year-old freshman girls day.” Not only does that take down attendance, but it also takes away the scenery at the Assembly Hall.
Those are just the reasons for that one particular game, but I’m still confused on all the animosity people are showing.
No one questioned the student’s loyalty when they filled “The Hall” night after night when IU won six games in 2008, or the year after when IU won just 10 games. When Butler came to town this year, that student section was pretty packed, wasn’t it?
Look at the game IU fans have seen this year: Stony Brook, Chattanooga, Savannah State, Gardner-Webb, Butler and Stetson. Sure, students may have been more inclined to go to these games in years past, mainly because they were the only games IU would win. Now, IU is torching these teams by 20 plus on a regular basis, and at some point, as a fan, that becomes mundane. Sure it’s great to see IU win, don’t get me wrong, but its time to amp up the competition.
Let me stress that no one in this situation is right or wrong. The fact of the matter is that the scarcity of students at the Stetson game was noticeable and people took note.
Here’s my other argument about people bashing the student section though, and I mean it with the upmost respect, but…
Who brings the noise, the raucous, and the energy? Who are the people that make Assembly Hall one of the toughest places to play, not just in the Big Ten, but also in the nation? I love the fact that alumni, donors and passionate IU fans pack “The Hall” outside of the student section, and they certainly are die-hard fans and passionate about basketball, but they’re more spectators than participants. (And yes, I just called the IU student section a participant, at least in terms of impacting the game). When they do stand up and cheer, that building rocks, but the students are the constant, they are the foundation that goes for 40 minutes – or at least ought to be.
Maybe this hate was all just an act to hype up the students for Kentucky this coming weekend. Maybe now students feel the need to prove themselves once again. The students have been called out. The hate may be a bit unwarranted, but maybe necessary. If IU is to have a chance on Saturday, the students better quiet the haters and bring the noise.