Texting service for fans sees increase in usage

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    Following the Texas Tech and Kansas State football games, usage of the texting service available for fans to report incidents has increased, Randall Cobb, TCU Director of Safety, said.

    “A lot of concerns we had were from the Iowa State game when things were thrown at the players,” Cobb said. “There’s cheering and then there’s probably a little too much cheering."

    Fans can send a text message to the number 69050 containing the word "FROGS" followed by a space, and their location and a brief description of the incident. A response team will then assess the situation and send out the proper authorities.

    Cobb said the number of texts messages jumped from four at the start of the season to 22 messages received at the Texas Tech game alone.

    Cobb said most of them were “good messages” like reporting someone smoking in an undesignated area or using profanity. 

    “There were a couple that people were just saying bad things about TCU, so we blocked those,” he said.

    Cobb said the majority of the complaints came out of the student section. 

    “We learned a lot,” he said, “We couldn’t always find the people… it was a little difficult getting police officers down into the areas [fans] were describing.”

    Cobb said the lesson learned is that the more information fans can give them, the better. 

    “Not everything was satisfactorily responded to, but it was a learning curve for us,” he said.

    Cobb said that he hopes the service’s popularity will spread. Because the service requires more modern technology, Cobb believes that students will continue to be the primary users. 

    “The few messages we were getting before were probably coming from the people who didn’t understand the technology,” he said. The past messages received only had the key word “FROGS," suggesting that the people who sent them didn’t understand that they needed to include their location and a description of the incident as well.

    Cobb said the texting service will continue to give people an opportunity to deal with issues seen at previous games, like Iowa State. 

    "[It] hopefully get us to be the fans that most of us think we should be," he said.

    Associate Director of Athletics Ross Bailey said the texting feature can be used at any campus venue, but is up to the discretion of the university. 

    In regards to basketball season, Bailey said "at this time, we feel like it is best suited to the stadium type of application but we will test it some at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum."