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Two From The Mailbag!

Two from the mailbag, about the obvious difference in UNC's crowd last night. In case you missed it, they gave the good seats to the students, and the students really contributed a lot to the game

I can't let "You Guys Suck" be the subject of an email. Think of something
else, please!

Commenting on the Dean Dome crowd at the Maryland game, you said:

But the best part of the game, even from a Duke perspective, was the crowd.
Students got a rare chance to make a difference, and when the game was
over, they rushed the court. That's not something you see every day in the
Dean Dome. It'd be nice if the athletic department took note and put them
close to the floor on a permanent basis.

You know as well as I do that there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that
this will *ever* happen. It's more likely that big-dollar donors will
replace students in Cameron than that students will sit less than a
half-mile from the Dean Dome floor. Money talks in Chapel Hill, and in
Durham too, when it comes to college basketball.


And another take!

I'm not one to get a burr in my butt and write a lengthy diatribe, but I finally found a topic close to my heart-whaddaya know --it involves college basketball, the ACC, UNC, and fans! I never thought that I would be pulling for UNC against Maryland, but omigosh here I go.

I tuned in tonight to espn the TV channel, fully expecting to cheer Maryland on to lay another loss on those Evil Empire 'heels. However, I noticed the crowd was really cheering the home team and was actually standing! Hmmm.those wacky fans might actually be on to something! Well, then I learned that the only people there were the students, as the wine-and-cheesers couldn't make it through the snow.

The crowd made this game. Carolina looked awful in the first half, but they were playing with more heart than I've seen all season. The crowd did show they were a bunch of newbies at the screaming and going nuts thing as the crowd--and the players-- let up in the late first half, and Carolina looked like they might not win another ACC game this season. Then came the second half-holy moly! How much you wanna bet that somewhere in the halftime talk the topic of the students being behind them during their time of need came up? Man, I just couldn't help rooting for those Heels-for the students, both those representing their school on the court and those cheering for it around the court. Now they have a taste of what college sports should really be about. All of those in attendance will come away with the same feeling that I was blessed to experience over forty times during my four years at Duke. Whether they realize it or not, they will probably remember that game more than any other during their college career-emotional memories tend to stick with you.

To make a long story short, I couldn't help but thinking that out of despair (bad weather and a disappointing season by Carolina standards) good things come. Could it be possible that someone in the Carolina administration can make the gestalt shift (well, gestalt for them at least-common sense for a lot of us) to actually giving students some better seats? Anybody who saw this game, and is familiar with Carolina basketball, had to notice the difference in the atmosphere.

Okay, hang onto to your DBR hats, as I'm going to segue into something deeper here (and why not, don't we all relate many things in life to ACC basketball?). Carolina now has an opportunity to take a leadership role in the changing world of college athletics. More and more good players are looking at college as a temporary stop on the way to earning millions. And why not?-college athletics as a whole has become more for the alumni than for the students. Anybody who begs to differ needs to check where their student seating is for basketball and football games. Unfortunately, society as a whole is missing the point--it's not about money--he who dies with the most toys does not win; but rather, it is about relationships. College, like life, is as much about building relationships with people as a community, and many smaller sub-communities, as it is about learning a craft and building equity. If mighty Carolina can sacrifice some ticket income to generate a better atmosphere, I'd be willing to bet others might just follow suit. And you know what, they probably wouldn't lose as much revenue as they might think. If it's more fun to go to a game with a crowd going bonkers, I'd be willing to bet that alumni would shell out some greenbacks to be a part of it. I know the almighty dollar is a significant influence on college athletics, but where there is a will, there is a way: there has got to be a good common ground that brings in moolah and still puts the students first.

Of course, this could all just be a pipe dream--man is this peyote good....

David Slye E '89

P.S. -- why doesn't "espn the web site" put up polls that are more significant than just "who is the best pro basketball team of the 1990's" or the like. Duuuh, what's the point of polls like that? Why not something more telling like -- "which of the five following items would you be most willing to sacrifice to ensure better seating for students at college sporting events" and have two different polls--one for students and one for non-students.