With two great teams playing on campus, why don’t more students attend SLCC basketball games? The men’s team has a record of 16-5. The women’s team stands at 17-3. Both teams currently rank in the National Junior College Athletic Association top 25. How can a school with over 28,000 students not have better home attendance when the Bruins are competing as two of the best Junior College basketball teams in the nation?
There are many possible reasons why more students do not attend SLCC home games. Out of the 28,719 enrolled students, approximately 39 percent attend different campuses or take on-line classes away from the Taylorsville Redwood Campus, where the Bruins basketball teams play. There are just over 17,500 students who attend the Taylorsville Redwood Campus. At the last home game against Snow College, however, only 75 student tickets were sold. Bruin Area was only filled to one-quarter of the arenas maximum capacity. Thus, the question arises, where are the fans?
“I don’t really follow SLCC, because SLCC is a commuter school.” According to International Studies major, Jacey Miller, 23, “It’s not a university and I don’t really feel a part of it. I just don’t get that feeling. This school feels more like a means to an end.”
General Education major Andrew Cahoon, 21, said, “I am not too familiar with SLCC sports. I don’t like sitting down and watching sports unless it’s like the NBA or what not. I would probably watch more games if they were doing better.”
What these two students said is a sentiment felt by other SLCC students. Many students feel as though SLCC is a “means to an end”, or a step between high school and a larger university like the University of Utah or Brigham Young University. Therefore, many students will follow the Utes and Cougars before they follow the Bruins. Since many students attend other campuses outside of the Taylorsville Redwood Campus, SLCC athletics may not be promoted as much at these other campuses. This may also lead to a lack of interest in Bruin Athletics.
Students may have heard that the Bruins men’s basketball team won the NJCAA National Championship last year, but most don’t know how both basketball teams are performing this year.
“The women are the favorites right now to win Nationals, but the men still have a chance to finish strong in the conference”, says Zac Hodge, producer of SLCC sports show End of the Bench.
With student body numbers rising to those of the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, and with a rich sports tradition, SLCC Bruins should be getting more attention from Salt Lake City residents. Hodge believes that “Not only do we have great players but our athletes are good students as well”. The teams are not receiving the amount of recognition they deserve from the community.
One way to increase home attendance is to get more students involved. Bruin Pride is a student organization that promotes student attendance to all home Bruin athletic events. The organization hands out Bruin Pride T-shirts and pizza to students, and they also organize activities that take place between the women’s and men’s home games. Such activities include a Sumo Wipe-Out Obstacle Course that will occur between games on Jan. 29 and a Wacky Basketball Tournament that will take place near the end of February. If you would like to know more about Bruin Pride and their activities, contact Student Life at 801-957-4452.
The next home games will be on Jan. 29 and 30 against the College of Eastern Utah and Colorado Northwestern Community College. Women’s games start at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Men’s games start at 7:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Both teams play in the Lifetime Activities Center. SLCC students will receive one free admission with their Student One Card and general admission tickets are just $4. On Thursday, Jan 28, the Bruin Pride will be hosting a Bruin Nation event in The Lair. Activities and games will be played in The Lair, located in the Student Center, with numerous prizes to be given away. It’s free to all students.