The Daily Gamecock

In Our Opinion: If you're not going to stay, don't bother going

In last week’s editorial, we predicted that the improvement to this year’s ticketing system would help keep students at the games. We meant we hoped students would stay inside Williams-Brice Stadium, not out in the tailgating lots.

We like tailgating, too, but the flood of students leaving at halftime or shortly after is just sad.
When the gates to Williams-Brice open and at the kickoff, the student section is packed. There are probably three times as many people crammed onto one row than ever should be, but the excitement is palpable. As much as we like the extra breathing room that comes with fewer students, that excitement truly does make a difference in the game.

In last year’s Georgia game, the crowd was so loud that the Bulldogs couldn’t hear their own play calls. That was impressive. By halftime in the Vanderbilt game, it seemed the majority of the student section had found better things to do with their time. Shortly after, Vandy started putting points on the board and almost made it a three-point game. Not so impressive.

If you do, in fact, have better things to do, then by all means go on and do them. You don’t have to support the football team. But don’t take a ticket from a student who wants to be there. Believe it or not, there are students who go — or want to go — to football games to support their team from start to finish. Those are the people who deserve the loyalty points they get from coming to games.

We get the allure of leaving midway through a game we’d probably win anyway, but what about the allure of being there in the final moments to watch your team win?

USC is one of only two SEC schools — the other is Vanderbilt — that don’t charge for tickets. We should all be grateful. If you can’t commit to staying in the stands the entire time, then give someone who will a chance to do so.