Opinion Staff Editorial

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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  • None of the top tier programs in Texas have completely free admission for football games. What UH has been doing is already very generous. I believe the idea is to that there is limited seating allocated for Students and they need to institute such changes to ensure that they are not over capacity in those sections. The university will have liability in the case where unregulated admissions to games like this might result in people getting hurt. Judging from last year’s Memphis game, it is pretty likely that people will attempt to storm the field if we go undefeated and beat a well ranked Louisville team at home. There was just another article here about people creating chaos simply to buy tickets for UH-OU game, so it seems the logic is not lost.

  • How about they keep winning and if you don’t like that, you don’t have to wait in the long lines. We voted to take on all the fees to support athletics, don’t come asking for something bigger and better in return when our investment is already paying dividends in the win column, national exposure, and potentially an invite to a P5 conference.

    • More than half of the current student body did not vote to take on the fees to support the athletic program. Athletics asked SFAC for $250k just for tailgating for this game–then the program turns around and makes $100k off of us. It’s a bit ridiculous. A winning football team is great, national exposure is cool and getting into a better conference would be awesome–but I could care less. College is about earning a degree and that already costs too much.

  • Students not being able to get into the game … is a side effect of a successful program. Gone are the days of free admission.

  • This is a little disappointing, guys. I wish the editorial board put a little more thought and research into this before publishing it. Not everything is going to be for free and this op-ed is the type of thing that causes dreaded complaints about millenials.

    If the football program continues to gain in power and prominence, there will come a time where you simply won’t be able to give students free tickets. UH is one of the few schools who does this because frankly the support is needed.

  • For the record the athletics department didn’t make $100,000 on students this game. It was a game hosted at NRG. Tickets were sold by NRG. and the profits went to NRG. NRG sold the University 5,000 student tickets at a discounted $20. UH Then sold those 5,000 for the same price.

    If you are going to cry foul have the correct information on hand

  • How about you just pay your $20 if you want to go to the game, or watch it at home for free? Its much cheaper than other big schools and the University has done wonders for the students. Do some more research before complaining about the cost of attending home games.

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