Whose fault is the lack of school spirit on campus

Jesse Cordova - Sports Editor

Jesse Cordova – Sports Editor

As I watched the two teams warm up before the MIAA basketball tournament opener, frankly, I was disgusted.

Twenty minutes before tip-off the arena was already half full… of Northwest Missouri State fans, cheerleaders, and a pep band.

The point I am trying to make is this. All I hear people talk about is how there is a lack of fan support from the students. I am here to tell you the band did not decide on their own not to go to the tournament, someone told them they couldn’t.

And until that attitude – the attitude that our athletics are not worth the time and gas – changes from the FACULTY, then this men’s basketball team, the same one that returns three starters next year including one with All-MIAA credentials and another who led the league in assists this season, will not play to its full potential.

You may have read the column by Parker Willis a few weeks ago about the lack of school spirit on campus. At the time that I agreed with him 100 percent. However, being at the tournament this year changed my mind. In his column, Willis went after you the students. Now I see that he was wrong. At least part of the blame needs to go to the people who run the campus.

Every time there was a Northwest basket the building came alive, every time Southern scored there was an eerie dead silence. No band, no fans, no hope. If you want us to shut up and stop telling you all how bad you are, then prove us wrong.

Walk across campus for a home game. Skip class to travel to Kansas City. Hell, for starters why don’t you stop talking out loud about “how bad they suck” when you walk around campus?

And the results of this were clear. The Bearcats of Northwest wiped the floor with Southern, defeating them in every aspect of the game, especially fan base and motivation to give a damn.

So the next time you see seniors Ed Miles, Dale Hunter, or Matt Habermehl, you know the ones that won’t ever get to play college basketball again, stop and apologize because you owe at least that to them.

It was not just apparent in the game between Southern and Northwest. By far, the game with the best turnout in the first round was Central Missouri vs. Fort Hays State. And because both teams could hear their fans screaming at the top of their lungs they played stellar basketball throughout, especially Fort Hays who came in as arguably the biggest long shot of the tournament.

So, if you’re a sports fan, do yourself a favor. Go to your living room and find a college basketball game on T.V. Watch the game, but not the players. Watch the crowd and see how loud they get. Learn what it means to have “home court advantage”.

The clock is ticking. The Lions men return three starters next season from a tournament team this year. The ladies return four as well, including four D-I transfers. I don’t know how much more blunt I can be than this. These are two solid Division II basketball teams, and I am willing to bet that they are four wins better if you show up and yell.

Once again, I want to remind you that this is not me rambling on about students “ignoring their obligations.” The faculty and staff are just as responsible, if not more so. From what I have heard, most colleges give extra credit to students who attend football and basketball games. Other schools REQUIRE students to go to football and/or basketball games.

Does it need to come to this at Southern? No. But this much is for sure, there is a losing attitude on campus and until someone makes a conscious effort to shed that attitude it will not change. I just hope I’m not too late.