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Clear the gym to support the Streaks

March 19th, 2009

It is a real shame JCU students don’t do a better job supporting their athletic teams.

It is an even bigger shame that when we try to, we can’t get into the game.

Like hundreds of other people, I waited in line Friday night hoping my number would be called to watch the Blue Streaks basketball team battle Guilford College for an invite to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Division III tournament. I stood between a kid who had attended every game and an elderly couple.

Students and community members mauled around the IM gym waiting to see if enough people would leave the earlier game so that JCU supporters could watch their team play.

For some reason, the University thought it was a great opportunity for a buy-one-get-one free limited time offer.

Someone decided that if you bought tickets to the 6 p.m. Capital v. University of Texas-Dallas game, you could just hang out and catch the Streaks play at 8p.m.

Games sell out and it is unrealistic to think that every student who wanted to go to the game could get into the gym. But a lot more could have gotten in if the athletic department would have cleared the gym after the first game.

Apparently the value of home court advantage took a back seat to the fear of potentially having to tell a few people they needed to leave. I’ve been told to leave places plenty of times – it’s not a big deal.

The biggest joke is that, despite the whole standby ticket fiasco, anyone who went to the game could see empty seats that students would have gladly occupied. Too bad many students did not show up because they didn’t think they could get a ticket.

In fact, there were even a couple students who didn’t have tickets but still found ways into the gym, or so I hear.

JCU essentially decided to make less money last weekend.

Now, I’m not an economist. One night I decided to buy 400 ShamWows with the idea I could sell them for profit on eBay. I am $8,000 in debt because of that decision, but I am making some of it back with my underground Snuggie business.

But, even I know that when you take something in demand and you give it away for free, you are making a bad business decision.

Please, let me illustrate this with an example. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, you had a basketball game that a lot of students wanted to go to because one of the teams was playing at home in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. Now lets say you decided to give people a 2-for-1 deal on tickets to the game, even though there were people willing to pay for both games.

That is stupid.

Luckily and predictably, most fans from the first game left. That was great because as the angry Capital fans lamented a loss while walking to their cars, they were met by Carroll students asking, “Do you have a ticket from the game?” and the follow-up, “Really? Because you just came from the game and I find it hard to believe that you don’t have a ticket.”

Some members of the athletic department certainly had the foresight to understand that opportunities like the one Friday come along rarely. If I’m in charge of tickets, I’m doing everything possible to make sure the DeCarlo Center is packed to the brim with JCU students.

Let’s hope in the future, the most experienced members of the athletic department are given the most say in these types of decisions.