I just returned from one of the most exciting experiences of my entire four years at Boston University: the Men’s Basketball America East Championship. The Boston University just beat Stony Brook 56-54 to secure a spot in the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball championship. Let me say that again: Boston University is in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships. For those of you who don’t go to my fine University, let me put this in perspective:
Never have I ever… looked at BU as a basketball school.
Spirit fingers before John Holland’s free throw to win the game with 2.4 seconds left on the clock.
The Class of 2011 has had quite a few notable sporting events in their time. We rioted in Kenmore when the Red Sox won in 2008. We won the NCAA Hockey Championship in 2009, for the first time since 1995. And now, the 2011 America East Championship, to secure a bid in the March Madness tournament.
BU’s fans getting ready to rush the court after the 2.4s Stony Brook attempt at scoring.
Though, this win is not without a slightly heavy heart. I stood at the game alongside some my friends and peers, yet I did not feel my administration was standing with me.
Time and time again, it seems as if the Boston University administration completely disregards the student body in their decision-making process. In fact, it was once summed up to me as “the students at this university succeed in spite of what the administration does.”
Stony Brook University showed up in full force with about 11 buses filled with 600+ students, including the full marching band, dance team, cheer squad, and two sections worth of belligerent students.
Stony Brook’s student section, complete with marching band, dance team, cheerleading, and two full sections of the Agganis Arena stands.
Boston University showed up with our pep band, dance team (wow, where were you in the last three years of my life?), cheer squad, and an anemic student section behind one of the hoops.
BU’s student section. Looks kinda empty, hm?
BU’s chant “Where is Stony Brook?” said it best: where the hell is this school?
Okay, by my count, this school is nearly 200 miles away and they have to take a ferry to get to BU. Spring break aside, how do you mess this up, BU administration? How in the hell did our student section not dominate damn near the entirety of Agganis Arena?
Concession #1: it’s BU’s spring break. Many of my friends left on Thursday, Friday, or earlier today for flights to places with much better weather. Understandable.
Concession #2: BU has rarely, if ever had a legitimate basketball team before. I had never been to a basketball game before today. Call me a bandwagoner, I embrace the term. GO BU!
That said, there were numerous things that the BU administration could have done to help facilitate better student involvement at the game.
1. Make tickets available and accessible. Stony Brook GAVE AWAY (you hear that BU? yes, for free) tickets to the game. The only thing students had to pay for was transportation to the game. BU basketball ticket sales were not only confusing and unpublicized, but obnoxious. If you had a sports pass, it was free. If you did not, it was $10. If you wanted to get a ticket, you had to go all the way to Agganis (not centrally located) to pick one up.
Normally, this would not be a problem, but this was one of the most important basketball games in the last decade and it fell during our spring break. I, of all people, understand the business side of things, but BU/Agganis should have put aside its revenue-generating motto in light of the basketball team’s success and given away free tickets in the GSU during the past week. Considering the amount of sports pass tickets that were not used due to spring break, this barely would have cost BU a thing.
2. Keep dorms open to allow student attendance at the game. Once again, spring break is happening this week. One of the side effects of that is that the Boston University dorms (Warren, Towers, 1019 Comm. Ave, HoJo, Myles, Danielsen, etc.) close at 12PM on Saturday (today) until after break. Despite our team being the favorite to win a conference championship, no one thought that maybe we should leave the dorms open for 4-5 hours to allow students to actually go to the games.
Putting aside all of the people that had already booked plane, bus, and train tickets – this would have at least helped convince New England/New York “locals” whose parents were driving in to pick them up.
3. Tell RSIG to chill out: it’s a basketball game, not a national security concern. The blatant nepotism of using RSIG (one of the board members is allegedly related to one of the co-founders) aside, RSIG consistently ruins the experience of BU student fans, and this game was no exception. Despite seats being open in our anemic student section (which was broadcast on national television via ESPN2, by the way), RSIG personnel were limiting BU fans entrance into the student section. Unless you had a special ticket, you weren’t getting into the “fan” section.
To close this article, let me just say that I am incredibly happy that our basketball team has been successful, but I wonder, if I had not been browsing random articles about the hockey team, would I even have known that BU was one game away from March Madness? Once again Boston University administration has missed the boat on an amazing opportunity. We hired a fantastic coach from Villanova, a team consistently in the March Madness tournament but yet the school fails to engage the students in a critical game.
Even the ESPN 2 announcers pointed out how much bigger the Stony Brook University section was compared to Boston University’s.
I applaud John Holland and the Boston University Men’s Basketball team in making it to the March Madness tournament and I wish you luck against the #1 seed. As for the BU administration, once again, you have proven that it sucks to BU.
Pat Chambers cuts one of the loops off the net, sharing the experience with the rest of the team. BU Admin, take a lesson: sharing is caring.