Fans alive, just out the door to beat traffic

Jesse Dahl asks why students at the WIldcat basketball games are so quiet. I would contend that the student body is not represented adequately at the games to blame the lackluster fan support on it. More than likely, the mellow crowd is a side effect of B ig Money Athletics. Expensive travel costs, coaching salaries, and athlete scholarships are just a few of the expenses that demand huge income for these games. So the university turns to wealthy, successful community members to pay huge season ticket pric es to sit close to the game for most of the contest and then leave early. I can't tell you how many games I have been to where the fans close to the floor begin to scurry towards the exits at the five minute mark in a vain effort to beat traffic. This in furiates me to no end.

Fine. I even swallow my anger and accept it because money assures that the Wildcats will be productive and successful most years, even though I must watch from the nosebleed section or at home. But I do not agree with blaming the student body for quiet c rowds at McKale Center on game night. The lack of emotion and support shown by these people has frustrated me to the point where I choose to stay home and watch the game in front of my TV. At least there I don't have to watch the "fans" leave early while the Wildcats try to beat UCLA in the final few minutes at home.

Case in point: look at those programs with threatening home court venues (Duke, North Carolina, Arkansas (hiss) among them) and you will see students near the floor and represented in great number.

In actuality, fan support at the UA is not dead - it just left a little early to beat traffic.

By Jeremy D. Kaplan
Computer science senior