McCormick forgets what makes games amazing: team pride

As a truly concerned Cougar, I would like to respond to Jim McCormick’s article "Students not wanted in Robertson Stadium," (Opinion, Wednesday). First of all, I would like to address his statement that, "attending home games at UH as a student is a poor experience."

Anyone who has sat in the student section at a UH home game knows that this is far from the truth. The energy and excitement is evident, and there is an unspoken camaraderie that can’t be found anywhere else.

Being seated directly in front of the band doesn’t hurt either. The band gives the students energy, adding more excitement to the atmosphere. Also, student seating is not in the four worst sections in the stadium. In fact, the Athletics Department has set aside 11 sections in the southeast corner of Robertson Stadium for students to create a hostile environment for opposing teams.†

McCormick also complains about the glare from the sun. Attending football games, however, is about supporting your team and fan fellowship, not about uncomfortable weather conditions. Considering the fact that we are in Houston, the weather will likely be "uncomfortable" during football season regardless of your stadium location.†

Also, those who sit in the student section know that there is no sitting involved during a football game. We, along with the band, stand the entire game to show our respects to our team and to make sure that our team knows we are behind them every play of the game. There is no need to "crane one’s neck to see the action" unless you are sitting among the crowd of rowdy standing students. We the students can see just fine, even with the sun in our eyes.

All we need are some UH hats and sunglasses.†

In response to McCormick’s comments about the price of concessions at the games, I would like to use one word:† tailgating.†On the western side of Robertson Stadium, students can find numerous booths and organizations offering free or cheap food and drinks, requiring only an ID as admission.†

Concessions inside the stadium are beyond the Athletics Department’s control;†Aramark, our campus food provider, sets costs. If you compare UH to other sporting events in Houston, the prices are very reasonable.

The fact that beer is even sold at a college sporting event is rare.† UH is one of the few schools in the nation that allows adult beverages to be sold at its stadium.††

In contrast to McCormick’s argument, the Athletics Department does indeed care about its student fans and goes above and beyond the efforts of most other universities to encourage student attendance and participation. All students receive free admission to home games as well as free T-shirts for the first 1,000 students. Last year we averaged more than 4,500 students per home contest.

So, while McCormick is entitled to his opinion, it is not shared by a number of students. His proposed solution is to "stop attending sporting events." This is not an answer. If anything, the opposite is true. We need to increase fan support as this University continues on its path to another great football season.

Our Athletics Department supports and cares enough about the student body that it allowed any student to go the Liberty Bowl last year in Memphis, Tenn. for only $30. This included roundtrip bus tickets, game day tickets and food. The Athletics Department even helped us with hotel rooms. What other university does this for its students?

I would like to reiterate that McCormick’s claims are far from the truth. As a concerned and loyal Cougar I would like to let the student body know that I’m going to be at Robertson Stadium this football season, and that students are wanted.†

Amir, a history and political science senior, can be reached via [email protected]

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