Last night on his radio show, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier laid into students for leaving at halftime of, basically, every football game this year besides Georgia.
“If we want to be a big time program you’ve got to stay. As long as we’re winning, stay in the stands. If we ever start losing, then you can leave,” Spurrier said on the show.
This isn’t the first time Spurrier has called out students, and as one myself I can’t blame him.
Our student section, which from 2008 until somewhere last year I believed was one of the best in the nation, has become a disgrace.
For our last two SEC games, against UT and Arkansas, my fellow students couldn’t even fill the damn thing up at any point in the game. To make matters worse, an already underwhelming section became about as sad as you can imagine after halftime of both of those games.
Steve Spurrier has built a winner here. The group of seniors that will be playing their last home game ever on Saturday will leave this school as the winningest group of football players in Gamecock history. What the hell else do you need to be convinced to take a few hours out of your day to watch great college football in person?
Are PBRs and Evan Williams/Cokes just too good leave sitting at your tailgate for more than a few hours? Can your body not handle being away from crappy mainstream rap and dubstep music for longer than it takes to complete a college football game? Do you honestly believe you have a shot with any of the girls you party with in the State Fairgrounds? Because you don’t. You just don’t.
It’s honestly sad when the student section at any college, let alone an SEC college that fields a more-than-respectable football team, is emptiest part of that college’s football stadium on Saturdays. That’s what the University of South Carolina is dealing with, though. It’s true. I’ve been to every game this year. I sit right in the top corner of the student section beneath the roundabouts. I may have even thrown a few of you readers a towel or two since I became a freshman in 2009. I can see the entire stadium, except for the tiny section behind me, and every week since the Georgia game, the student section has been the emptiest part of Williams Brice.
I guess that means I should thank all of the alumni, former students and plain old fans for showing up every week. Thank you. You look good in your garnet and black.
This is my last year at Carolina, and it pains me to have to write something like this, but it has to be written.
Fans do matter in sports, especially at the college level.
Students are supposed to be the roudiest, loudest and craziest among them.
At Carolina, though, it seems that all a solid chunk of them care about is getting hammered in a parking lot trying to chase after someone that’s chasing after someone else.
The sad thing is, I don’t believe that will change. It definitely won’t change for the game against Wofford. I bet the student section will be half empty by the time the six minute mark of the third quarter rolls around.
I’ll be there, though, just like I always am.
I’ll be there.