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Archive for Friday, January 26, 2007

Huggins to students: Show up for games

January 26, 2007

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Kansas State coach Bob Huggins has no second thoughts about calling out students who stand in line to buy tickets to the Wildcats' games and don't show up.

And if the no-show trend continues, student fans could find themselves relegated to less desirable seats at Bramlage Coliseum.

"If you aren't going to use the tickets, let somebody else use them," Huggins said during a conference call Thursday. "That's what I was trying to say, and I don't regret that."

Athletic director Tim Weiser sympathizes with Huggins and said the athletic department could make changes in the seating chart if the student section remains unfilled.

"We'll have to evaluate the location of those seats, and if that's the best location for our students, if they don't use the seats they have," Weiser said.

The buzz generated by Huggins' hiring last spring sparked a run on student tickets, a rarity for the Wildcats in recent years.

But while Bramlage Coliseum's 4,600-seat student section sold out, keeping it filled has been another matter. And last week, after seeing about 2,500 empty student seats for the Wildcats' 69-60 victory over Baylor, Huggins vented his frustration in his postgame radio show.

"They want to come in and do this Huggieville thing, then fill it," Huggins said at the time. "I don't want my name associated with something that's half right."

The "Huggieville" tag, which appears on T-shirts and the Bramlage Coliseum video board, is a play on Huggins' name and the Aggieville bar district next to campus.

On Thursday, Huggins said some people took his remarks out of context.

"What I said was, 'If you're going to buy tickets,' and they bought all the tickets. We had to turn some students away," he said. "But if you're going to stand in line for hours to get tickets, why wouldn't you use them?"

Huggins also said he wasn't blaming the students for lower attendance at games over the winter break.

"I understand when students aren't in town, they're not going to drive back for the game," he said. "But if you're in town, why wouldn't you use the tickets?"

Weiser said he appreciated Huggins' candor and desire to see Bramlage packed to its capacity of 13,500.

"Bob has continued to be a guy, and this is one of the things that appeals to me, who speaks his mind," Weiser said. "I appreciate the fact that he has the same goals I do in terms of having our facility full."

Tom Gilbert, Kansas State's assistant sports information director, said there were about as many empty student seats at Monday's 73-36 nonconference rout of Chicago State.

"They were a lot louder, though, a lot more raucous," Gilbert said.

Kansas State, which has won four straight, is home again Saturday for a Big 12 game against Nebraska. Five home games remain after that, including a matchup against rival Kansas on Feb. 19.

"Obviously, we're going to wait until the end of the season before we draw any conclusion," Weiser said. "But we either need people to use their tickets, or to see that somebody does."

Comments

bangaranggerg 7 years, 10 months ago

Can't blame them for not showing up... I mean there is just SO much other fun stuff to do in Manhatten, Kansas. I mean there's that one place with the cows and that other place with the field. Good stuff.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 10 months ago

I wouldn't read too much into this. I recall one of our prior coaches complaining about the "wine and cheese crowd."

Ken Miller 7 years, 10 months ago

This is all a plan by the KSU administration to start laying the foundation to screw students out of their decent seats. The students won't fill their sections, the AD and Huggy will continue to cite the problem, and before you know it there will be a Williams Fund requirement for tix at KSU.

Jaminrawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Dambudzo, those are the worst stats ever. Cincinnati was in a crappy conference for one, and Self compiled most of his losses at Oral Roberts and Tulsa. Self has taken three different programs to the Elite Eight (granted he hasn't been to the Final Four yet) while Huggins was a notorious choke artist with some of the best teams, going into the tournament over the past 15 years. Say what you will about KU the past two years, Huggins has more to proove than Self does. Huggins is waiting for the West Virginia job anyway. The students not showing up should make the decision easier when Belein leaves for a better program. Huggins will burn all of that purple crap he's been wearing this year and won't look back in the rearview mirror.

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