A Fan’s Rant: The Empty Student Section

A sorry excuse for a "Student Section" at Halftime. Photo Credit: Amanda Fisher

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… the picture above is worth at least 4,000 unclaimed student tickets.

In WVU’s victory over Cincinnati on Saturday, I noticed something inside Mountaineer Field that was just absolutely bothering the hell out of me, and I made it known to my friend several times.

Was it Cincinnati’s band attempting to play over The Pride of West Virginia at various moments throughout the game, and almost over “Country Roads” after the game? No.

Was it Cincinnati’s rude, knuckle-dragging, neanderthal, single-digit IQ, obnoxious fans with that idiotic round motion cheer and stupid chants? Believe it or not, no.

It was a near-empty student section as you can see from the picture above… namely the upper-deck (sections 205-211) and the lower deck (sections 109 and 110) on the non-press box side. I couldn’t get a good glimpse of the Senior Spirit 121 Section. After the jump begins a rant.

My friend and I agreed that it was simply “pathetic” at the lack of turnout for the students. Personally, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

When I was a student at WVU, the upper deck was ALWAYS crowded… hell, ALL the student sections were crowded. You literally had to wait in line early just to get a seat. Oftentimes near kickoff, it became standing-room only and it became really crowded.

I’ve been removed from WVU a couple of years, and saw a drastic decline from last season to this season. It really showed at Homecoming, and it just got worse on Saturday.

In my 5 years of attending games (since 2006), I’ve only missed ONE home game… and that was due to family issues where I HAD to go home that weekend. (For those keeping score at home, it was the Marshall game in 2008.) I even went to the 2006 Backyard Brawl, the 2007 and 2010 Gator Bowls, and I’m very likely going to whatever bowl WVU winds up going to.

This whole charade of “arriving late, leaving at halftime” has got to come to a stop. Does it get in the way of your partying and bar-hopping? Does it get in the way of you being lazy and wanting to “nap before going out?” Does it cut in to your studying time? Well, the game shouldn’t… you should really manage your time better.

It’s not like you have to individually purchase tickets at every home game like I do. Nope, in fact, part of your tuition includes an “athletic events fee” so you all can attend these games FOR FREE (theoretically speaking, anyway.)

Of course, I realize that most people came to WVU to get an education… that’s fine. Not everyone likes football and I realize that. Those students aren’t the problem. I’m talking about the ones that use football games mainly as a “socializing event” rather than a FOOTBALL GAME!

I’m also calling out the ones who bitch and complain the entire time about everything—the team, the coach, the players, the mascot, the cheerleaders… hell, I’ve heard people complain about the music being played. Sheesh. I’ve even seen some people look like they don’t want to be there.

The student section has become a sad, sad excuse for the University. Too many unused seats… doesn’t look good to the fans that PAID for their tickets, and it doesn’t look good on TV.

If you just wanna drink, then just tailgate and keep your ass out of the stadium! Don’t be using a ticket that someone who wants to go (and couldn’t go) can have.

I also think there’s a lot of apathy and front-running with this team. The football team is not in the best of circumstances right now (yes, I realize they are in the thick of the Big East race, but, this is not where we should be) with people calling for Coach Stewart’s, Mullen’s, and Johnson’s heads on a tray.

I just wanna know who the hell taught you spoiled entitlement brats how to be sports fans, or if you are even a sports fan? You all are nothing but a bunch of fairweather jerks (most likely from New Jersey… and ruining Morgantown for the rest of us) who probably support the Yankees and don’t know what adversity in sports are!

I grew up during the Nehlen era… I was born in November 1984, DURING a WVU game! The 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl was the last time WVU won a bowl game (defeating TCU)… until I was 16 years old, I had to live through all the damn bowl losses! Finally, the Music City Bowl was Nehlen’s swan-song, and WVU d. Ole Miss (who had Eli Manning at QB at the time) and Nehlen went out on top.

Rich Rod took a while to win some bowls… he lost the Tire Bowl to those assholes from UVA (who had a VERY TASTELESS skit at halftime making fun of West Virginians), TWO Gator Bowls (to Maryland and Florida State U)… guess what, I STILL supported the team!

Then, what I term the golden age of WVU Football happened… Sugar Bowl Victory over UGa, Gator Bowl Victory over Georgia Tech, and the Fiesta Bowl over Oklahoma… AFTER THE ASSHOLE BOLTED FOR MICHIGAN BECAUSE HE THREW THE PITT GAME!!!

After that, though, the program has been on a bit of a slide.

First year, not bad. Finished 9-4, including a Car Care Bowl victory over North Carolina. The first year was marred with many of Stew’s mistakes including piss-poor clock management @ Colorado.

Second Year, he finally got his signature win, upsetting #9 Pitt… Gator Bowl bid, and laid down to the old man known as Bobby Bowden. I mean, for cryin’ out loud, WE LOSE TO A 6-6 ACC TEAM!? That’s when I wanted to wash my hands of Stew.

Fast forward to Year 3… the LSU loss, I could stomach. (LSU has since improved) However, the Syracuse homecoming loss, and the UConn loss just made me want to hurl!

This is probably why the fairweather students aren’t coming out to games…

“I NO WANNA SEE THEM LOSE! I WANNA DRINK AND PARTY! DERP DERP DERP!”

Don’t come to the games, then. Like I told those who vow to not attend another game this season, stay the hell at home! That just leaves more tickets for the rest of us.

In fact, why don’t you just withdraw from WVU altogether during the winter break and go back to a school in your home state? We don’t want your kind here.

I only wanna see those in the stadium that bleed GOLD AND BLUE no matter what!

Is there a solution to the lack of students?

Better believe it. What Oliver Luck needs to do is a COMPLETE OVERHAUL of student seating… eliminating about 3 of the upper sections from the students while the demand isn’t there, and put those tickets on sale to the general public that are NOT season ticket holders. Keep the lower section and the Senior Spirit sections, though. As demand increases from the students (as well as big games), increase student seating. That way, the University doesn’t look bad regardless.

Topics: Bluebonnet Bowl, Cincinnati Bearcats, Colorado, Continential Tire Bowl, Don Nehlen, Fiesta Bowl, Florida State, Gator Bowl, LSU, Maryland, Meineke Car Care Bowl, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Oliver Luck, Rant Rant Rant, Student Section, Sugar Bowl, TCU, University Of Virginia, WVU, WVU Football, WVU Students

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  • http://thesportsdude.tumblr.com/ The Sports Dude – Dwayne Watts

    Pathetic! I realize the team is struggling and the coach needs to go, but what else is there to do on a beautiful fall day in Morgantown! Get your arses in the stands and BRING BACK THE CUP FIGHTS!

  • Amanda Fisher

    I was disappointed in the fans themselves. At times the stadium was so quite that you could hear a pin drop. Come on people we need to cheer our boys on. Win or lose we’re still Mountaineers!

  • WvuJmac

    You are correct in all of your ranting, about “fair-weather” fans. We are mountaineers and we should support our team regardless of a 10 win season or a 3 win season. Supporting your team when they are at their lowest is what makes a true Mountaineer, the ones who bleed only Gold and Blue. Step it up folks.

    Let’s Goooooo

  • wvuer21

    The decline of the student section has been a growing issue for at least the last four seasons. It’s a damn shame, and something I’ve been increasingly angry about. The introduction of the half-time bracelets only has only made it worse. I agree, if you don’t plan on staying, don’t take a ticket away from someone who wants to be there.

  • wvu66

    There are a couple things a little inaccurate about this entry, but the main thing is that the student section was “ALWAYS” packed when you were in school. It wasn’t. I could probably find stats on this if I tried, but just believe me when I say that this is not a new argument…not by a long shot.

    I’m not invalidating the argument, though- just saying it was not perfect as recently as a couple years ago.

    The other thing is that there are probably more non-students missing the game than students. It’s just much harder to tell because it is more spread out through the stadium. Again, it doesn’t invalidate the argument.

    The point is that this should be addressing everyone not showing.

    I do agree 100% on the armchair QBs in the stands. During the Maryland game I sat and listed to a guy berate the coaching staff all because Devine ran out of bounds before halftime. I have also heard people yell fiercely at the cheerleaders for not starting a cheer at the right time.

    Overhauling the student seating is probably a little too far of a reaction. But I would welcome revisiting the student ticketing process.

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