Editorial: Ditching Dakota Days game disrespectful, students need to stay past halftime
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Editorial: Ditching Dakota Days game disrespectful, students need to stay past halftime

As the 28-25 game against the University of Northern Iowa came to a close this Saturday and USD fans and players cheered the victory, the cheers were lacking the voices of hundreds of students who initially filled the stands.

For any recent sporting event, USD’s student section has been less than attentive. Even if the stands begin filled, rarely do students actually stay for an entire game. Not only is this action disrespectful, it’s hindering our ability to uplift the USD community to its greatest potential.

Successful student athletes are nothing without the fan base supporting them. Athletes aren’t blind when it comes to the crowds of people leaving early. Even at the annual D-Days football game, students still shuffled out of their seats during halftime, a game that our team came out victorious. One of the biggest sporting events of the year for USD doesn’t even keep students around. And if that doesn’t, what will?

Athletics are a two-way street. Obviously players need to participate in the game, but fans also need to be consistent and fill the role they sign up to play, just as the players do.

Sophomore wide receiver Tacari Carpenter said that fans have their own responsibilities to uphold during a press conference following Saturday’s game.

“At the end of the day, we still got to play, but it plays a very big part,” he said. “We wish they would stay but, I mean, at the end of the day we still have to do our 1-11. They just need to do theirs for us, please.”

For the fans that do stay for the entire game, the athletes notice them, too. These people are ones deserving of much praise for continuing to cheer on the team every second of gameplay. They are the ones encouraging the athletes to persevere and work toward a win.

Senior defensive lineman Colin Mertlik was in awe after the D-Days game by the vocal support the Yotes received even after the student section dwindled.

“For the people that stayed the whole game, tremendous credit to them. That last drive when we had to get a stop it was the top five loudest times that I’ve experienced in the Dome by far,” he said.

School spirit and pride provides a college community with a sense of camaraderie. We may all be studying different fields, but we can all come together to one field to cheer on USD athletics. We may be participating in various different activities, but we can all participate in forming a proud sea of red.

Some students might not care about athletics that much, and that’s okay. But those who choose to purchase a ticket should be expected to be in full attendance. We’re not just an educational institution, but also a community. As such, we need to support one another in all that we do.

Rather than walking away from our fellow students, let’s use our voices to motivate and inspire each other to perform our bests. This mentality is one relevant on and off the field. Whether we’re presenting a thesis, performing in a play, or throwing a football, we all deserve to be surrounded by those who want to see us succeed. especially if that means sitting through an entire sporting event.