Lack of student support hurting Miami athletics
As the Miami University hockey season spirals out of control, so does the attendance at Goggin Ice Center. Miami is in a new conference, featuring some of the best programs in the country. Despite having little experience against these teams, it was clear to even the casual fan, such as myself, this year was going to be harder.
Sadly, the NCHC has gotten the better of the RedHawks this year. The 'Hawks are 11-18-3 and 5-16-1 in conference play, making it clear Miami has struggled with some of the big boys to the west. Due in large part to the poor results on the ice, the fans have not been filling up the stands with the consistency they have in years past.
Is it that the RedHawks are no longer fun to watch or is it that the Miami fans, including myself, are too fair weathered to go support struggling teams? I believe the obvious answer is the fans are too fair weathered.
Miami fans are used to the hockey team being one of the best in the nation. This year has been different, partly because of the increase in talent the RedHawks are facing every night. Much like the football team, it seems as though the fans have given up on the hockey team.
Student attendance is noticeably down at all sporting events, including hockey. This is a clear sign that Miami fans are giving up on their teams too easily. The hockey team is young: there are only two seniors and many freshmen are getting the call for major playing time. This combination of youth and lack of experience has led to even more hardship for the RedHawks.
If you listen to any team or coach at any level, they say fan support can help motivate their players. No sensible fan will tell you the RedHawks have not played every game hard, especially since most of their losses have been by two or fewer points. But one could wonder if that little bit of motivation from the normal fan support might have helped.
The RedHawks had a rough year, but giving up on them is something Miami fans should not do. They will get better and they will get used to playing in this new conference.
If Miami fans go out and support their team, next year will be better. If not, Miami's teams will continue to struggle and players will not want to come here due to lack of support. This not only applies to the hockey team, but to all Miami teams. If Miami fans want their teams to be better they must show their support.
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