TCU students have become the ultimate example of fair-weather fans.It is hypocritical to expect our basketball team to do well if we, the student body, do not back them up. Our lack of support is a weakness in the team’s game.
I am always disappointed when I hear a TCU student, who does not show up in the arena to cheer on the team, complain about our season. How can we expect a stellar season if we neglect to root for our team?
When the players do not have fans counting on them and yelling for them, they are disadvantaged by a loss of motivation.
“Our team is working hard and playing hard this season, and if fans would come out, they’d get to see that,” former TCU basketball player Marcus Sloan said. “Fan support would definitely help our team. Anytime you have people backing you up, you’re going to play better. It’s like having a family supporting you.”
Last season’s winning team enjoyed enthusiastic student support from the stands, Sloan said.
But this season, the gusto from the student section has evaporated completely. Not only are TCU students abandoning their team by leaving rows of seats empty, they actually have the audacity to grumble about the team’s performance.
“More parents and fans for the other team come to the games than students, which is pathetic,” sophomore political science major Wes Knaub said.
The presence of an animated crowd has an undeniable impact on any sports game. An arena packed with cheering, devoted fans not only gives the home team a rush, it psychs the other team out and impedes its ability to communicate effectively.
In the midst of the setbacks it’s facing this season, the TCU men’s basketball team should be able to depend on loyal supporters for encouragement.
After losing three valuable seniors from last season, the team is now relatively young and inexperienced. The switch from Conference USA to the Mountain West Conference has also presented a challenge, as the team has had to alter its playing style to better fit its conference.
While other factors may also be obstacles to the team this season, the lack of student attendance and enthusiasm is certainly not boosting the team’s morale.
“Crowds always make the environment that much better,” Director of Sports Medicine Chris Hall said. “When the stands are filled with cheering students, it gets the players up and going. There’s an electrifying feeling that gets them hyped up and ready to play.”
TCU basketball is lacking a fan base it can depend on and without that, a key component of the sport is missing.
“For any sports team to be successful you need the players, the coaches, the officials and the crowd,” Hall said. “You’ve got to have the crowd there. It’s the only way the players will know they are getting some support.”
Because athletic events are free for students, they have all the more reason to attend games.
“College students should be enjoying everything a campus has to offer,” Hall said. “I don’t think the students take advantage of everything that’s laid out before them. Student fees pay for an awful lot of opportunities.”
The Horned Frogs displayed exceptional talent and teamwork when they defeated Colorado State 85-72 Saturday, Jan. 21.
“I think this year, we get a chance everyday to try to prove ourselves. The Colorado State game showed us glimpses of what we should have been this season, and what we still could be,” Hall said. “There are still eight games left, and a lot can be done in eight games.”
Four of the games remaining on the schedule will be played at home, leaving four more opportunities for the students to repair their disloyal reputation. No matter the team record, TCU students should demonstrate the enthusiasm and pride they have in their school.
As much as we count on the basketball team to win games, the team also counts on us to back it up with spirit. Our expectations for the team are disproportionate to the exceptionally limited amount of support we offer it. Thus far, the student body has failed to be a team player.
Jordan Cohen is a freshman English major from Lewisville, N.C.