Great team, no support from students

Jimmy Pyles

Our women’s baketball team is 13-2 on the season and just knocked off the fifth-ranked team in the country, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the amount of students in the stands. 

I take a lot of pride in the athletic program USI has, so I am shocked that other people don’t feel the same. You pay to go here, so why not support the school and the student athletes that compete for it?

I see no effort by RedZone, the student cheerblock at athletic events, to promote or even attend the women’s games. The last two women’s games had about three people in the goal ends. 

True, the women’s team doesn’t have the same flash and highlight reel dunks the men’s team has, but they are still out there representing our school and deserve the same amount of respect and fan support as all other sports.

The team is doing its part by winning – what more do they have to do to get fans in the stands?

Most students probably don’t even know when games are. Like most events on this campus, you have to shove the event down students’ throats to get them to notice. Making a Facebook post a day before the game gets hardly anyone’s attention. 

Branch out to promote the games other than via Facebook and Twitter – pass out flyers, chalk the ground, set up text reminders – just do something to get fans to come out.  

I understand students can’t make every game, but there is no reason RedZone can’t find 100 students to go fill the goal end and rock the Phycial Activity Center for the women’s team just like they do for the men. 

I see RedZone only at key women’s games, but in the words of women’s head coach Rick Stein, “Every game in the Great Lakes Valley Confereince is key.”

I’m not putting all the blame on the RedZone for not having students at the women’s games because they can’t force students to go games. But there are 10,000-plus students here with about 25% of them living on campus. You’re telling me you can’t get them to come to a women’s basketball game at 1 p.m. on a Saturday?

What’s the point in having the home court advantage if no one shows up to cheer on the team?

The members of RedZone have the power and resourses to reach the student body in many ways. They have shown they can get enough people to attend the men’s games, so why are the women getting snubbed?