The Texas Longhorns are busy working on improving the fan experience at football games under new athletic director Steve Patterson with some help from Disney, but it appears Patterson could just walk down to the football facilities to get some free advice from senior cornerback Quandre Diggs.
In fact, Patterson won't even have to seek out Diggs to get that advice, as the longtime starter took to Twitter on Monday evening to lay out his wide-changing plan for increasing student involvement in the game and punishing those fans who don't like to make noise:
Let the students scan their ID's n when the gates open it's first come first served just like other schools use that have high student att.— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) February 18, 2014
The students really shouldn't have to pay for tickets because they pay enough for school to be real.— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) February 18, 2014
It's no way we shouldn't have the most students attending sports events we have 51K students!— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) February 18, 2014
And put the students closer to the field, we can't hear them when they're in the upper deck! Move some of those people that don't clap...— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) February 18, 2014
.. and cheer move them out the stadium cause they really are the first ones leaving when something bad happens.— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) February 18, 2014
I'll never forget watching K State students line up at the student gate and literally run in the stadium to be the first ones there.— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) February 18, 2014
We make enough money quit being greedy.— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) February 18, 2014
I'm just a player tho, don't have no say so in that just stating my opinion.— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) February 18, 2014
This pathetic! http://t.co/MnyHO8pWYf— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) February 18, 2014
Yeah, Quandre, that is pathetic.
Of course, it isn't a secret that a large majority of the fans in attendance at Texas games often don't make much noise. But it's also the case that the student section has empty sections at times already and the seats underneath Godzillatron have never been popular -- the students deserve some of the blame, too, for not being as engaged as other student sections, something that may be exacerbated by poor placement and the price of student tickets.
The economics aren't going to allow changes that moving Longhorn Foundation members who donate for seats on the west side of the stadium and the athletic department is hardly likely to give up the revenue created by students themselves in the hopes of a better home environment.
So while most of this is unlikely to ever happen, the underlying point is that there are aspects of Texas fan culture that are pathetic and that taking better advantage of the noise that students do make could create some home-field advantage that doesn't exist at the moment.
Now, will Patterson recognize those issues and make changes to foster a more raucous environment at a stadium that is sometimes known not-so-affectionately as the Library? What would even make fans stop arriving late and leaving early?
Booze in the stadium?
Cultural change in a fanbase isn't an easy thing to accomplish and shuffling where the pieces sit is probably limited politically and economically. Patterson and Disney may be able to help a little bit, but the bet here is that Texas fans will remain mediocre in impacting home games -- that's just Texas football fan culture.
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