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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Staff Editorial

Don’t limit athletic enthusiasm to football

The heart of the schedule remains, but football fans are guaranteed just one more home game this season.

The regular-season home finale against Southern Methodist is nine days away. The No. 11-ranked Cougars have a solid chance to host the Conference USA Championship on Dec. 3.

But even if they do not, fans have done a phenomenal job showing up this season. The five previous games have sold out, and it appears Senior Day against the Mustangs is also poised to be packed.

However, school spirit and tradition does not stop and start with the football team.

The Daily Cougar often uses this space to criticize fans for their lack of enthusiasm when it comes to basketball season. This season will be no different.

There are six home football games at Robertson, but Hofheinz Pavilion will host 18 contests from November through February.

UH received an invitation to the Big East conference in large part to the success of the football program. A strong showing on the court would validate that invitation.

But even if UH performs well, there should be bodies filling up the seats of Hofheinz Pavilion. There is nothing more discouraging to a national television audience than seeing a half-empty arena.

There is an abundance of tradition when it comes to hoops. This is where Clyde Drexler, Elvin Hayes and Hakeem Olajuwon played. UH has made it to five Final Fours — tying the University for eighth all-time in the NCAA.

Building fan support is gradual, and we do not expect this editorial to inspire thousands of people to attend Saturday. We understand that the team must prove itself to be consistent before new fans decide to be loyal.

The season tips off at 7 p.m. on Saturday when the Cougars host Grambling State at Hofheinz. If you miss that game, then you should be sure to attend Monday’s matchup against Utah Valley.

It is an affordable form of entertainment — just a student ID is required for those who are enrolled in classes. It is the team and student’s responsibility to prove UH is more than just a football school.

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