Editorial: Sparse support for sports


William Nacouzi

Skyline athletes work hard during practice, but are lacking school support during their games. Photo credit: Brian Silverman

College sports have been a huge staple in the college experience for students for years. Unfortunately, you can’t have sports without fans, and the Skyline athletes are no exception to this rule.

During sports events at home, volleyball for instance, the stands are empty. A few parents and maybe a friend or two appear to support the players. These athletes may not care about the lack of support they are getting from fellow students but it really does make a difference, not just to the players, but to the school as well.

According to a research done by Dr. Daniel Wann on sport psychology, team identification positively correlates with extroversion in U.S. college basketball fans. Being a fan of your college team can also affect communities by promoting integration between like-minded fans. For instance, if you and your neighbor found out that you like the same basketball team, it can positively influence your relationship and you may become friends.

Now lets talk about a strategy that the school can use to bring people into the games and maybe gain some profit. According to the same research by Dr. Wann, “team identification is related to both attendance and merchandise purchasing.” What this means is that if more people identify with the same team, it’s likely that more people will attend the events. For example, if a person happens to be a Golden State Warriors fan, he/she will most likely bring a friend to the game. Based on the research by Dr. Wann, students may even bring their parents to game events if given the opportunity to. This strategy can be a low-cost way to get more people involved in Skyline’s athletic program.

With that in mind, sports fans might feel inclined to purchase food and perhaps some merchandise. This can be profitable for the team, which ends up supporting them.

However, if Skyline decided to integrate mandatory attendance of sporting events into classes, it would not keep the students’ interest alone. Student interaction is important to keep game attendance up. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the social-psychological benefits of being a sports fan include lower levels of loneliness and stress. This can drastically change a student’s life in the long-term.

Currently, there are not enough people in the stands to justify selling food during every sport event. If Skyline starts to integrate their sports program with their physical education classes, it may be able to provoke an interest in the students that were required to attend the game. This is only one strategy but there are plenty more ways to get people involved in Skyline’s athletic program.

For some students, this can be a way to make new friends on campus and help our student athletes at the same time. Student life may be busy but if you, your friends, and family members have time to spare, please support Skyline’s athletes as it can be just as beneficial for you as it is for them.