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Put student participation before the dollar

Observer Viewpoint | Monday, November 1, 2004

It is with great sadness and some anger I read the story about the sale of men’s basketball tickets being limited to 3000 students. How absurd is that? When did students become second-class citizens at our school? Being an alumnus of the ’75 class, I can speak directly as to the difference real fans (i.e. students) can add to the team. I was there when students wouldn’t give up on the team when they battled UCLA to break the 88 game streak. Wasn’t it the student body that was voted the most valuable player in the upset win over No. 1 San Francisco? Isn’t that the only time that has ever happened?

Ask the players from those teams how valuable students were to those victories. Have we become like all other schools that put student participation and support after the almighty dollar. Students are the school and all of them that desire to purchase tickets should be allowed to do so. During the ’70s, Digger Phelps understood how much student support meant to the team’s success. Why doesn’t the administration?

The arena seats 11,500. That would mean that 8,500 seats are “filled” with fans who do not have as much at stake as the students. How does that show spirit? We have all witnessed the non-students sit on their hands when the game is not going well. That is when the team needs the support the most. Let’s give those players as much help as possible. At least 50 percent of the seats should be reserved for our students. If not, why not?

Richard F. Morton

Class of ’75

Oct. 31