A Student Reacts to Criticisms of the Student Section

Connor Tapp here, Editor of Garnet And Black Attack. Gamecock16 submitted a FanPost that presented a perspective I thought was worth sharing with the masses (with some minor edits).

To start, I would like to state that I am a student at USC, and I am lucky enough to have student section tickets for most games. I would also like to say that our student section being about 70% empty after halftime is completely embarrassing. However, I have heard some very unfair and unwarranted criticisms of my fellow peers here at USC.

As we all know, USC was leading Vandy 28-10 at the half, and for about 28 minutes of the first two quarters, we had completely dominated our friends from Nashville. That is when my peers in the student section decided enough was enough and left en masse to likely participate in other extracurricular activities. Personally, I do not EVER leave games early. I stay until the (occasionally) bitter end. I also do not drink heavily before games. I enjoy being able to comprehend the game and discussing it with my friends in the stands. The only likely reason I would leave is if I suddenly became ill, and even then my Garnet and Black upbringing would be eating at me to stay.

However, a writer at a student-run Gamecock news outlet has made some, in my opinion, very egregious arguments about our student section. Granted, the basis for this article is probably warranted, but the way it was presented really ticked off a nerve within me.

This writer states, "Shaw has never lost a home game as a starting quarterback, boasting a 12-0 record as a starter at Williams-Brice Stadium. It's also likely that he's never seen the student section full in the fourth quarter for any of those 12 wins." This is completely untrue, I can list far more games where the students have stayed until the end rather than ditch at halftime.

Also, this writer insults the students intelligence as whole.

"There was just one small problem; Vanderbilt, unlike South Carolina student's realized that a college football game last four quarters and mounted a comeback..

Student section, your quarterback is calling you out and your running back is mocking you. Of course, I doubt you care. As long as you can make a brief appearance in the first half, try not to pass out, then leave during the halftime presentation to plan your night in Five Points, I’m sure you couldn’t care less what the players who sacrifice all year long to represent you and your school think."

This my friends, is insulting not only to me, but to most of my friends as well. I am not a saint, I go to Five Points, I drink and attend parties. However, I am never belligerently drunk, nor do my friends and I ever leave a football game early. I even stay for the alma mater 90% of the time.

Editor's Note: Even though Gamecock16 wished to leave unnamed the author of the column to which he/she is responding, the number of times that the column was quoted in this post binds us to link to it here.

I am not writing this to call this writer out, he will remain unnamed, but to only point out one of many articles making the same ridiculous arguments. However, if we are going to call the students out, why not call out the other fans in Willy B that night who left in huge numbers. I looked up into the upper decks, which were garnet and black laden at kickoff, and they were mostly empty half way into the 3rd quarter. People criticize students, and claim we are, "spoiled" and "missing the golden age of USC football." While I do not argue the latter argument that this is the golden age of football here at USC, stating we are spoiled is insane and honestly insults me. I pay $20,000 to go to school here on a combination of scholarships, unsubsidized student loans, some of my parents help, and money I make on my summer breaks. We are not spoiled, and we certainly do receive anything "free." Overall price of my education rises every single year, and we pay an enormous "Student Activity Fee" as part of our tuition so we can attend events for "free." I can completely understand why students would see fit to leave a game early, especially one that is such an enormous lead at halftime.

Now, I do not want to be misunderstood. I am not a supporter of those who choose to leave early from games. I was raised a Gamecock (in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the first 14 years of my life oddly enough), both of my parents went to USC, and I have loved USC since I was little. I know no other sports passion when it comes to college sports. However, I am asking writers and bloggers everywhere, to not resort to belittlement of my peers simply because they chose to leave a ballgame early. I have in fact seen some insulting comments on this very site. I read this site everyday, and I elected to choose my battles. As I stated before, students were not the only ones leaving early. So before you choose to criticize students, please realize it is not just my peers but peers of the adult population as well.

In closing, I would like to call for something. I want to call for the entire fanbase that attends the next game, to do their very best to stay until the end of the game. It is something we can ALL work on as a fanbase. I recognize I am young compared to most USC fans, and have not endured nearly as much struggle and pain as other, older fans. I do feel however, that a portion of the fanbase that is larger than I am comfortable with has gotten lackadaisical and too comfortable with our recent success. Let's all stay for the entire game, and support our team.

FanPosts are user-submitted, and are not always representative of the Garnet And Black Attack editorial/staff or any of our opinions. Except for when we post them ourselves.

FanPosts are user-submitted and are not always representative of the Garnet And Black Attack editorial staff.

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