Tech’s athletic department recently offered a cash prize for students to attend university sporting events. The most supportive group display at the remaining home basketball games would win $250 to use at their discretion. While I applaud the efforts of administrators and staff members to increase athletic event attendance, I found myself wondering why Tech’s students needed help supporting their fellow student-athletes in the first place.My first semester on campus, I was amazed at the support provided to our athletes. Opponents knew they were in hostile territory when it would blizzard toilet paper across the floor. Cheers, chants and taunts were started by the student section, and they didn’t quit the entire contest. You had to scream in order to hear the person next to you because the noise was so deafening.
The Eblen Center should be packed for every home game, men and women. Tucker Stadium should shake with the amount of noise coming from the student section. The Averitt Express Baseball Complex should be heard for miles during each home game. We need to make every other Ohio Valley Conference school tremble in fear when they see @ Tech on the schedule.
We have the opportunity to start something great. Together we can make Tech the most hostile venue in the OVC. Neyland Stadium was not built with 100,000 plus fans already inside. The Cameron Crazies didn’t just happen overnight. There was a conscience effort made by the students and alumni to create the best atmosphere possible for their athletes to succeed. We can bring an atmosphere to Cookeville that will make every other OVC school jealous of our fans.
We need to begin a new tradition of overwhelming athletic support, and not just for a half either. It’s a hollow victory when an entire student body leaves after halftime like last year’s football homecoming game. There were as many if not more Tennessee State fans in our stadium, IN OUR STADIUM, because most of the student section left after halftime and homecoming court announcements. We should have all been ashamed for abandoning our fellow classmates, our student-athletes that represent us.
There are three more doubleheaders left for student groups to come support their Golden Eagles this basketball season. Three more chances to win money. More importantly, three opportunities to alert the OVC that the Eblen Center is back and ready to rock.