Michigan State v. Nebraska was set for primetime TV on ABC, meaning it was a big game.
But as the Spartans dominated the game early and the temperature was falling, many the student section checked out by the third quarter confident that their team had the win.
By the fourth quarter, Nebraska’s offense was staging a comeback and Coach Dantonio was disappointed by the lack of fan support.
“We needed it to be loud there; it’s a big football game,” Dantonio said.
And Athletic Director Mark Hollis tweeted his embarrassment.
“It was just so glaring, it was an empty vacuum of space,” Hollis said.
Spartan alum Mary Humphreys was watching from home and shared the sense of embarrassment.
“We knew it was the student section but the commentators were pointing out that the
students were leaving as the game went on,” Humphreys said.
But no one knew why the students were leaving.
Studio art senior Stephen Foster says the games aren’t tailored for students to go to, and that needs changes.
“I was cold and every refreshment was too expensive,” he said.
Students arrived hours early to get the best seats for a game that lasted four hours long.
“In the student section we have a wild atmosphere,” Foster said. “It’s very intense, no sitting allowed.
I do feel guilty in a way, but I do wish the games were more feasible for me and other students
to go to.”
And Hollis says he can agree that there are some issues, so he wants to work with students to address them.
“I’ve been concerned about our student section and what we’re doing as an athletic department to serve our students the best way possible,” he said.
Hollis has taken note of twitter responses and plans to meet with students.
“If a positive comes out of adversity the positive from those tweets is that the discussion is now on the table and it hasn’t been,” he said.
“They’re proactively trying to get more people to go to the game and stay,” Foster said.
“I think the smallest thing makes a champion, it takes you from good to great. Right now the small thing that I wanna see changed is what can we do to create the most energy in that stadium from kickoff until the end of the game and we’re making those changes,” Hollis said.
Hollis wants to see these changes ready by next season.