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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Opinion

UH Athletics gives all for 12, none for students


In pursuit of college football greatness, UH Athletics should remember its largest source of motivation: the students.

The 15th-ranked Cougars dominated the 3rd-ranked University of Oklahoma Sooners in a 33-23 victory Saturday. UH has catapulted itself into the spotlight as one of the most popular programs in the country.

As the success continues — and the Cougars look to become a mainstay in the playoff discussion each year — it’s important that our University places the students at the highest priority when making decisions.

Lost in the mass of student rallies, media coverage and hysteria, the Athletics Department decided the first 5,000 students would pay $20 for tickets to the “neutral site” game located at NRG Stadium — less than 10 miles from TDECU Stadium.

The $100,000 made from the students, who struggle with rising tuition, book costs, housing and crippling debt, is nothing compared to revenue made from the game and exposure given to the school.

But the problem isn’t just the amount of money; it’s the principle of paying for games. As the lifeblood of this school, students provide the athletes much-needed and well-deserved support.

Not just on game day. All week, you can see students sporting T-shirts and hats and backpacks that praise Herman and his team.

Those same dedicated students waited in line for hours in the heat to get vouchers. They waded through a mob. Many who showed up five or six hours early did not get the ticket they wanted. Athletics provided just seven security guards , according to UHPD, for thousands of students. Once lines started to move, there seemed to be no oversight, and students cut in front of others at will.

Don’t set a precedent for the upcoming season.

The games that will be played at TDECU Stadium this year will only be free for the first 5,000 students. The rest of the student body will be charged $20 a ticket. For an institution whose advertising claims that students get free admission to home games, this is wrong.

In Fiscal Year 2012-2013, after approving a budget of more than $4 million, the Student Fee Advisory Committee’s report stated that “by granting funds for stadium construction/renovations for the next 25 years, we expect athletics to provide students with free entrance to sporting events.”

While the Big 12 may suddenly be looking at the Cougars, the Athletics Department needs to remember the foundation of its support. 

It’s time to make sure that sentiment is reciprocated.

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