The TCQ editorial staff has a group text, which is often the source of many of the weird things we do here. Today, actual, substantive conversation broke out regarding the issue of student attendance at Assembly Hall. Kinda. It is published below, in its entirety, published as a screenplay. Please enjoy this all-access look inside the minds of college basketball bloggers. It's like HARD KNOCKS: CRIMSON QUARRY, but without Vontae Davis' grandma.
SCENE: Ben is from Vermont, and received his graduate degree from Indiana. Swick grew up in and attended Indiana as an undergraduate, before going to an out-of-state law school. Robbins grew up around Bloomington & had season tickets as a youth, attending another school for undergrad before returning to IU for law school. ALL PERSPECTIVES ARE REPRESENTED HERE
Ben R.: hey, I get very sensitive when east coast IU fans get called out so I might write something about this:
Dakich: "I blame the administration for allowing too many east coast d-bags in there."— The Assembly Call (@AssemblyCall) February 16, 2015
Kyle Robbins: That wasn't T-I-C? I thought it was semi T-I-C?
BR: I mean yeah, but it's not just him. Bunch of threads over on (MESSAGE BOARD REDACTED) last night. I think there's a broader point about student section not showing up and it has nothing to do with entitled east coast students.
Kyle Swick: Yeah, students have really been kicked in the dick all year about not showing up to games. I think a column about attendance would be a good idea, because it has been down all year. Address all the theories, include a thorough dismissal of the “east coast” nonsense
*short delay, no responses*
KS: Or a minor dismissal of it, IDK
KS: but I was at the Maryland / Michigan games, hundreds of seats in the balcony were empty
KR: PERSONAL HOT TAKE: minor dismissal, because i do subscribe do it -- partly
KS: BEDFORD COMIN’ IN HOT
KR: BUT IT’S OKAY! people that haven’t lived in indiana their entire live don’t grow up with it and, in all reality, won’t be as engrained with #IUBB from their younger days.
KS: My personal hot take is it’s actually the opposite, those who have lived and died with IU for ~20 years are so furious at Crean and the “direction of the program” they’ve stopped showing up.
BR: Or they go to grad school in btown for two years like me and get swept away in the fun of big time games at assembly hall
KR: and that’s what great and awesome -- there should not be a *CENSORED* requirement to be a historian of indiana basketball to be a *CENSORED* fan
BR: Exactly. and that's where we sorta get into the Michigan or Nebraska football problem
KR: so my take is 1) yes, to a degree, it’s true. 2) it has no bearing on attendance the second said student sets foot on campus
KS: I think letting in out of state kids over in-state kids with the same numbers to get more tuition is BS but that’s happening literally everywhere and that is not the east coast kid’s fault.
KR: no, especially in an society where living in the same state in which you grew up isn’t as prevalent as it was 40 years ago
BR: Yeah - I chose IU because it had the second best public affairs grad progam in the country and the best one was in the dystopian hellhole of Syracuse. Basketball happened to be a nice addition to all of it
KS: Fact is: the fans in the margins aren’t going to a game on a sunday night when it’s balls cold and the opponent is meh and the perception of the team is not great. Two years ago? They would, because #rankings, but jockeying for 4th place isn’t bringing out the casuals
KR: actuality: 1) college attendance is down everywhere. see alabama football -- possibly, yes, maybe because of out of state students. 2) organically, assembly hall is really a terrible place to watch a basketball game (most of the seats are bad.) 3. Television.
KS: And that’s sports-wide: at-home experience now far exceeds in-arena experience in every facet except atmosphere
BR: Yeah my gf preferred Mackey to AH and I found it hard to blame her unfortunately
KS: IU secondary market tickets are $120+ for each remaining game. Who on earth would pay that?
KR: right now, right this second, i’m an indiana student. the IU ticket office gave me GA tickets for two games & i’m scared of heights. I DON”T SIT IN BALCONIES. i’m not going unless i have good seats, period.
KS: I take xanax to fly on airplanes
KR: i just don’t fly
KS: It’s awesome. Coolest fear ever.
KR: i had a dream about plane crashes last night, usually do when i’m #stressed
KS: I’m not afraid of heights per se, strictly flying, and really just take off. Once I’m up there nbd because the #zax usually wears off midway through, but getting up to 400 mph on the ground and then tilting up nooooooooooooooooooooope
BR: In-air turbulence is the worst
KR: see, i’m just a control freak and assume everyone else is incompetent
KS: yeah that’s part of it
KR: wait what if we just post this thread as our piece on attendance this is good
KS: Turbulence is just sky pot holes. And according to my ATC friend most “turbulence” people feel is actually referred to as “chop.” Pilots don’t notice it, no one gives a shit, it’s nothing. Mild turbulence would freak the *CENSORED* out of most people because they’ve never actually felt it before
KR: yeah I'm turning this into our piece on attendance, our JOINT COLUMN
BR: Exactly. Still freaks me out though
KS: god get over it ben, east coasters smh
KR: "don't tweet"
BR: Attendance and airline fears
KR: "don't fly"
KS: “don’t sit in balconies”
KS: abraham lincoln was in a balcony ppl forget that
KR: truth, honestly
KR: speaking of truth I might go to the tom Crean show
KS: oooooo rekt
KR: disclaimer: I'm posting the text of this as is
KS: at least transcribe it to remove the noise
KR: well yes
(did not actually happen)
KR: so back to attendance
KS: can you edit when i used the eff-word because i have to protect my #brand
KS: you can even put me asking you to censor it
KS: think your last point has some serious merit, season-ticket holders don’t want to go if they got shitty seats. Which goes back to the “why do we not have a student section”
BR: Yeah I was mad that I couldn't rush the court against Wisconsin and my friends could (with their backpacks on because grad school)
KS: The Izzone, Michigan, Illinois, they surround the court and it’s awesome. Even Purdue lines everyone up in a corner from row 1 to the top. Indiana? “Well some of y’all can sit here which is cool. We’ve sprinkled the rest of you throughout the balcony and also your season tickets included, like, eight games. GO HOOSIERS.”
BR: For me here's what it boils down to. it's weird, irregular start times plus it can be nice to watch on tv on a cold afternoon or evening (and with beer that you can't get at AH) plus as a student your seat changes every time. ALSO if there's a home game on Sunday you can't get chick fil-a
KS: Basically people only put up with the model, by and large, when the team is great. But Indiana can’t change it without uprooting hundreds of season ticket holders.
BR: Yeah also IU ticket office screwed up my season tickets big time last year and separated me from the group that I signed up with and put me on the opposite game schedule as them. And basically said "no takebacks" when we tried to correct it
KR: yeah, it's no ones fault -- except the building. you know who's sure not sitting in the balcony? people that pay real money. give the students those tickets, they just won't go. but they'll at least buy EM to get more GA
BR: Right. I don't think any of my measly 8 season tix were GA last year though