Southern University has a great athletic program. The Jaguars have 13 sports, five men’s sports team and eight women’s sports teams. Our programs have a HISTORIC legacy of championships and hall of famers. But sometimes, our programs don’t get the support they should, or at least the support they used to get in the past.
For decades, Southern was seen as an elite HBCU. What happened to that sense of pride about being a part of the Jaguar Nation? It’s always there during Springfest and Homecoming, but why not on a regular basis?
Around the country, college sports is like a religion. Many people eat, sleep and breath Alabama football or Duke basketball. Those programs have a rich history of championships. This can be said about the Jaguars too. Last football season, Southern ranked 4th in FCS in attendance with an average of 18,803. Our student athletes feed off the excitement of the crowd. Our football team was one game away from the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, and next season they have a chance to build on that accomplishment. But, they will not be able to do it without the support of Jaguar Nation.
It’s not all about football though. The Jags have championships in baseball, football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, and track and field. However, these sports don’t get the support they deserve most of the time. During football season, some students would come to the games just to leave at halftime. This worried me because students do pay an athletic fee, yet won’t even stay to get their money’s worth. At basketball games, the arena is half filled with many empty seats. Baseball games are usually empty. And when it comes to women’s sports, they’re almost never supported even though they usually have good teams.
It’s crazy to think that some sports don’t get the support they deserve. Our student athletes practice hard and keep up with their grades, which is a hard thing to do.
The bad thing about it is, Southern has so much potential for more school spirit. On Twitter, students are quick to defend our school if someone talks about it, but don’t support not only athletics teams, but also don’t support the many organizations on campus when they hold events. I do know it’s hard to go to every game, or every event, but many students don’t even try. And majority of the time, these are the same students that complain about how boring Southern is.
Southern needs our support. Many alumni are so honored to be graduates of Southern University, and students feel the same all of the time, not just occasionally. Southern isn’t perfect, but we all chose to go here and should be proud of that choice. School spirit can be improved, and it starts with us, the student body.