By Quin Welch, Sports Editor
Dear Bellarmine Students,
I’ve had enough. Y’all should be better than this.
Since the beginning of the 2015-16 Bellarmine basketball season, I’ve been to nearly every home game to write for this student newspaper you are reading. I’ve watched the games, written about them and seen how few of you attend them.
Let me backtrack a bit and say that while I think more Bellarmine students should attend basketball games, they do beat out other Great Lakes Valley Conference schools’ student attendance. At a game in the fall semester, I heard GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich say he thought Bellarmine students turned out better than any other GLVC school. Congrats, guys. That’s cool.
However, y’all could be doing much better.
In my time spent covering Bellarmine basketball, I’ve noticed a few things about you, Bellarmine students. Here are some of my grievances with you.
1.) You don’t go to Bellarmine women’s basketball games.
This is downright shameful. And, to be quite frank, you kind of suck for making me have to write this section of the column. Opening the season with an outstanding 11-0 record, this group of Knights has had given Bellarmine its best start since 1991-92. They’re a fun team that gets up and down the court, shares the ball, and well, for lack of a better term, can straight up ball.
Go watch Whitney Hartlage, Sarah Galvin and the rest of Bellarmine’s fantastic women’s team play. You won’t regret it.
2.) You show up to Bellarmine men’s games, but you should fill your section up every night.
There is no logical reason why the student section shouldn’t be full for men’s basketball games every night. While I may not agree with how you don’t attend women’s games, I can at least rationalize why the student section is not full for the majority of the women’s games. Women’s basketball simply isn’t as popular as men’s basketball nationally. The women’s program also hasn’t been nearly as successful as the men’s has, especially in recent years.
Bellarmine’s men’s basketball program is arguably the gold standard for Division-II athletics. Coach Scotty Davenport’s players win both on and off the court at an incredible rate. They’ve been written about by The New York Times. They’ve been to Elite Eights, Final Fours and even won a national championship a few years ago.
Bellarmine senior Trevor Dean, a regular on the front row at Knights games, echoed my sentiments, saying that there’s really no reason for Bellarmine students not to attend basketball games.
“Considering our recent basketball success and the great team we have this year, I think that BU students could do a lot better at attending games and helping to make Knights Hall a great home environment for the team,” Dean said. “The tickets are free and Knights Nation often gives away free things, so why not just walk over for every game?”
Dean brings up a fantastic point. The tickets are free. FREE! If I had a nickel whenever I heard college students complain about how they can’t do anything because of their financial status, I could run for president and maybe shut down all of this Trump nonsense once and for all.
The point of that is to say that if you’re bored and you don’t go to basketball games, I don’t feel sorry for you. You deserve lonely nights of Netflix and Ramen.
3.) You should be louder and should not even think about sitting down.
The older people who sit in regular seating make more noise than the students do. Yes, there are more of them, but the student section should be the hotbed of noise and craziness throughout a college arena, not its most dead area. Stand up, jump around and make some freaking noise. This is a basketball game, not a funeral.
Speaking of standing up, you should do that. I often see too many people sitting at the top of the bleachers on their phones and not really paying attention to the game. Your bae can wait on a text back for the two hours it takes the Knights to win a game. Senior Drew Bilodeau agreed.
“I think they should stand up because it makes you want to participate. If you’re sitting down, it’s easier to be bored and to get your phone out,” Bilodeau said. “Standing up just creates a more raucous environment.”
Bellarmine students, I’m writing this column because I believe you can do better than this. You all are already the best student section in the GLVC. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve. Do better. Your basketball teams deserve it.