Recently at Presbyterian College there has been a growing trend of fans, particularly students, being kicked out of the athletic events. As a former player and a supporter of sporting events, I find it quite discouraging that actual fans get kicked out of games for doing things that are not out of the ordinary (i.e. cheering, booing, and criticizing officials). Therefore, I would like to take up the issue addressing proper fan etiquette for a collegiate sporting event. Please note that this is an opinion article and this view is my sole outlook on a situation. This article does not reflect any views held by Presbyterian College or the Blue Stocking.
At the collegiate level fans are supposed to be able to help the home team gain a competitive advantage against the visitors. There is a certiain level of respect and/or courtesy expected, but fans are there to cheer for the home team and root against the visitors. I find it disturbing that at a home basketball game that a student could get kicked out for criticizing an official. It is even more troubling that the official comes up to the stands to confront the student about his comments. However, the kicker here is that the student was escorted out after doing nothing wrong. That is not the only injustice I have witnessed at a sporting event. I have also seen students kicked out of softball games for cheering and pointing. THIS IS AMERICA! Yes, I know everyone learns at an early age that it is rude to point, but at a sporting event sometimes pointing is necessary to inform a fellow fan on what just happened or who made the play. When did cheering and pointing become illegal in anything?
I find PC’s sporting world to be highly delusional. There is a difference between a fan and a spectator. A fan cheers and applaudes, they are emotionally involved in the game and they give the team energy with their support. A spectator is someone that attends a sporting event and sits their taking up seats that a real fan could be using. Below I have two pictures; one displays how most fans across the world behave at sporting events and the other shows the more conservative PC style support. The first picture is of Duke’s adamant basketball fans, the Cameron Crazies. These students paint themselves in school colors and get loud and rowdy in support of their team. In the picture you can see how close they are to the rival UNC player. I can guarantee that some of those fans are chanting, yelling obscenities, and trying to distract the UNC player. As a collegiate athlete you are taught to block out anything off of the court or field of play. The second picture is at a PC football game. These fans gameday attire consists of sundresses, suits, and bowties. As a former player I can tell you that there is not much support going on, just socializing and spectating.
That is the key difference between PC and other colleges and universities; PC does not condone behavior like that of the Cameron Crazies. When students behave outside of the PC norm they are removed from the sporting event as if they had done something wrong. Maybe it is time to become more accepting of sporting culture that most other big schools have. Since PC is supposed to be a D-1 sporting school maybe it should adopt a D-1 attitude about fans and what is the proper etiquette at a game.