The Daily Gamecock

Gamecock fans should stay, no matter what

Williams-Brice's student section should be full at last home game of the season


USC students often claim to have one of the top student sections in all of college football, but this season a disturbing trend has emerged. Before I actually became a student, I attended many football games here at Carolina and I never saw the student section half empty by the third quarter, especially during SEC games. However, this year, in almost every game, the student section has exhibited mass departures at halftime and throughout the third quarter. Even against Georgia, the No. 5 team in the nation at the time, I saw students leaving at halftime.

For years, Gamecock fans wanted to see the football program showing a consistent, winning product on the field. Now we finally have one; the football team is 19-4 since 2011, and has lost only one home game over the past year and a half. We’re currently ranked No. 9 in the BCS standings, and we’re gaining national recognition.

Initially the new ticketing system caused some concerns. Many complained how difficult tickets were to attain, and some students were left out of the stadiums on game day. But ironically, for both the Tennessee and Arkansas games, lower level student tickets were still available -— hours after being released. I suspect top teams such as Alabama, LSU and Oregon do not have any student tickets that go unused. Secondly, while students are leaving at halftime the rest of Williams-Brice Stadium remains essentially full until the bitter end. It just makes us look bad to have our student section only half full in the middle of the third quarter. This is especially true because the student section adds so much life and noise to the atmosphere at Williams-Brice Stadium when it’s full and engaged.

If South Carolina students want our student section to ever become regarded as one of the best in the nation, then cheering our Gamecocks on for the whole game is a must. When the student section gets loud, the sound reverberates throughout Williams-Brice, providing a distinctive advantage for the team, particularly our defense, as it can create confusion, miscommunication and chaos for the opposing offense. 

I want the opposing team, after every home game, to say that the crowd noise was a factor and affected the outcome of the game. As loyal students, we owe it to our players, who work so hard for us, to be as loud as we can for all 60 minutes.

So this weekend, despite the fact that we are playing a less-than-stalwart team, students should fill up the student section, and cheer on our team for the entire game, no matter what the score is. Those players on the field only get the opportunity to play seven home games a year. 

They deserve to have the loudest, most enthusiastic home environment in the country for every single home game, and they deserve that support not only for the first half, but for all four quarters.


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