Low attendance at women’s basketball games

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Photo courtesy of UDallas Athletics

The University of Dallas is a great place for a lot of things, such as academics, religious opportunities and more, but athletics has been a different story.

Recently, Sophomore Andrew Mosier noticed the lack of attendance at women’s basketball games at UD after having stayed to watch  them following the men’s basketball games.

“I was just finished with homework for the day when I heard from a friend that the men’s basketball game was going to start soon,” Mosier said. “I figured I should go cheer for the home team [and] was surprised to see how almost everyone left after the men’s game when the women’s game was right after.”

Though UD is a Division III school, it is still interesting that many people tend to leave after the men’s games.

Athletic Director Dick Strockbine mentioned something a lot of UD sports fans know.

“In general though I think this is not unusual,” Strockbine said. “In our conference the teams switch every year in terms of who plays first, so next year you might see an uptick in attendance.”

Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) officials were unavailable for comment as to why they switch every year.

This raises one question. Will everyone leave after the women’s basketball games next year, and not stay for the men’s basketball games?  This typically isn’t the case.

“The average [attendance for] women’s basketball game in Division III was 226, ours was 173,” Strockbine said. “The last year we had a winning record we were at 223 so you might come to the conclusion that winning might have something to do with it.”

“People would show up for the guy’s games, and then maybe leave while we were warming up, whereas last year when we played first, people would show up probably just towards the end of the fourth quarter for the guys’ game,” senior forward Michelle DeCoud said of the lack of attendance at the women’s games. “So, it really doesn’t matter who is playing first or second. They usually do not show up either way.”

DeCoud also said that the team’s frequent coaching changes make it hard for the women’s team to win games and attract spectators, a trial the men’s team has not had to face.

“Every time there is a coaching change, the team has to get used to a new system,” DeCoud said. “When you are having that kind of high turnover, it is hard to have a successful program. It is also not attractive to the recruits that come to this school.”

The men’s basketball team saw a rise in popularity with a winning season this year, but the women’s team didn’t. The women’s team plays just as hard as the men’s, but people are really only interested in watching the men play. Though Basketball season will not start up again for a while, it is still an issue to keep in mind.

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