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The Student Section | Lose the Lottery

TechHoops.com would like to welcome Cory Jez, a new member of TechHoops.com’s Student Section, where students voice their opinions on Virgina Tech basketball.

Cory is currently a sophomore Political Science and Economics double major at VT. He is from Midlothian (just outside of Richmond), Va. Cory’s favorite VT basketball moment was chanting “sit down Gary!” to maryland’s coach Gary Williams as he argued a call last season in Cassell. Cory thinks the entire month of March should be a national holiday to watch basketball.

Welcome to the ACC, Hokies.

Last season, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball program experienced a taste of ACC success, breaking from their traditional position as bottom feeders in the conference. With this newfound success, the student body must bring to the Cassell the same enthusiasm and excitement they have exhibited next door in Lane Stadium on autumn Saturdays.

While the Virginia Tech Athletic Department is enjoying a period of success that is unprecedented in Blacksburg, embattled Athletic Director Jim Weaver has borne the brunt of student criticism this football season for his banning of the popular “stick it in” cheer, among other things. As we transition to basketball, Mr. Weaver’s policy making with student ticket distribution is now coming under fire.

Anyone who attended the Hokie basketball home game against Maryland last season knows how amazing the student section can be, it was an amazing night. Due to inclement weather preventing season ticket holders from traveling to the game, Cassell was opened to allow students to occupy unused seats, in effect turning Cassell into one large and rowdy student section. We need to have a system in place that enables the Hokie faithful with access to seats to every game. Our current lottery / season-ticket system is seriously flawed.

Let’s look at how one of the top programs in the country does it: duke. Though an ACC rival, I have to commend their system of ticket allocation for the petite cameron indoor. Tickets are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, with students lining up for many hours before games just to get a seat (where they will never actually sit, because the cameron crazies are up all game). duke actually designates two games each year as tent games in the town of Krzyzewskiville, usually unc and another big conference match up each season. This gives every student who really wants it a chance to be front and center when game-time comes.

I’d like to see a similar system implemented here in Blacksburg. Give those who really want to see the games a chance to see them, reward those showing up hours before a game with the chance to be the first into Cassell to stake out the best seats in the student section. The lottery system does nothing to reward those who attend multiple games; they have just as much chance as the student who enters the lottery just to sell the ticket.

If an improved system can be implemented at Virginia Tech, I will be the first one to get my tent out in preparation to welcome uva to Cassell Coliseum.

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- who has written 1 posts on Tech Hoops.

Cory is currently a sophomore Political Science and Economics double major at VT. He is from Midlothian (just outside of Richmond), Va. Cory’s favorite VT basketball moment was chanting “sit down Gary!” to Maryland’s coach Gary Williams as he argued a call last season in Cassell. Cory thinks the entire month of March should be a national holiday to watch basketball.

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  • ddes

    I totally agree Corey. Great article.

  • NYhokie

    I remember (80s and early 90s) when Tech allowed students to wait for tickets while living in tents. For the really big games, the tents extended from the Cassell almost down to Kent street

  • daveywoods

    I like the idea, but I think this is as likely as Weaver suddenly changing his mind on stick it in — no chance. When sentimentality collides with practicality, Weaver and company are pretty consistent.

    Its not Weaver’s fault tho, really. Its lawyers and lawsuits and the thought of kids boozing all night in tents outside Cassell.

    Hope I’m wrong though — tents would be cool twice a year.

  • Corey Jez

    I think Weaver really needs to re-evaluate his role at VT. I, like many students, am personally not a fan. While I recognize that money runs a lot of things, Weaver needs to think about the student body a little more when making decisions or policies. There is no reason 2 or 3 VTPD couldn’t be stationed at the tents. But how cool would it be if we did have tents for the uva game.

  • VThipp

    Jim Weaver does the job that he was hired to do as athletic director. The stick-it-in cheer ban was influenced by, you guessed it, money.

    I commend your efforts in the article, Corey. However, basketball will always take a back-burner in Blacksburg, in terms of money, effort, and outreach through the athletic department. Even if we tried to do “tent games” or other forms of basketball pep rallies, we would have to win first; become Blacksburgville later.

  • NYhokie

    I disagree. I dont think that it is a given that basketball will always be a backburner in Blacksburg. Football needs to be put into a little historical perspective. Tech’s success in football is relatively new (just over a decade). To assume that 11-12 yrs of football success will forever shadow Tech basketball is completely nearsighted.
    There were some ACC anti-expansionists (bill brill among others) that suggested that Tech would never beat Duke or UNC in bball, so never say never.

    I agree that the Tech athletic department needs to make a bigger commitment and pump more money into the bball program, and from there, the wins will come (i hope).

    If Tech was willing to make a commitment to football in the early 90s with a sport that previously had zero success, why isn’t it possible for Tech to make an even bigger commitment to a sport (bball) that has shown some success? Isn’t is possible for Tech bball to eventually outshine it’s football counterpart?

  • The Wick

    NYhokie – I agree with you 100%, and thats why we started this site.

    When I was at Tech the first go-around (’89-’93), football was equal to or maybe even less than equal to BBall and the Hokies didn’t even make the NIT or NCAAs then.

    Look at the University of florida. Their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament was the mid 80s, and now they dominate in both Fball and Bball. It can happen!

  • daveywoods

    First of all, eff the gators. Obviously.

    Second, we’re looking at breaking ground on the new practice facility as early as this Spring, so we’re now entering the BBall facilities arms race with full commitment.

  • VThipp

    I feel that the University of Florida is a bad example. In terms of football and basketball recruiting, the state of Florida is in the top 3 (assuming Texas and California are there too). Also, in terms of recruiting, Billy Donovan and Urban Meyer reach across the continental US.

    The gators best WR is a local guy, Percy Harvin, who is from VA Beach. We as a program take great pride on our commitment to fellow Virginians, but why let diamonds like Harvin slip away. *Please don’t misinterpret this statement: I am 100% for supporting in state recruitment, and I commend Beamer and the Football program for sustaining this honorable practice.

    However, basketball is a different story:
    Donovan recruited
    Joakim Noah-New York
    Al Horford-Michigan
    Corey Brewer-Tennessee
    Lee Humphrey-Tenn
    Only Taurean Green was from Florida

    More money goes to FL basketball, less money goes to VT Basketball. Therefore, a correlation between the recruiting abilities of Meyer and our very own Seth Greenberg are skewed. We also stay close to our hometown, recruiting Virginians and also Maryland prospects as well (Although we have shown a liking to Stone Mountain, GA: THANK YOU COLEMAN).

    I am a fan of VT Basketball through and through. I will continue to put up with the shady lottery situation, and will support my team whether we are playing Elon or UNC. I just think that the program has a long way to go.

  • The Wick

    My point about fla is that 25 years ago they had not even made the NCAAs, and were primarily a football school. Now they have 2 NCs and 2 more final four appearances. So, it can happen with VT, just going to take some time (and money).

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2014-2015 Schedule/Results

November

11/14 - Hokies 71, md. eastern shore 46
11/19 - vs. liberty | 7pm, ESPN3
11/22 - vs. appalachian state | 1pm, ESPN3
**********
Cancun Classic
11/25 - vs. n. iowa | 7pm, CBSSN
11/26 - championship/consolation game | TBA, CBSSN
**********
11/30 - morgan state | 3pm, ESPN3

December

12/03 - @ penn state | 7:15pm, ESPNU
12/07 - vs. radford | 3pm, ESPN3
12/14 - vs. alabama a&m | 3pm, ESPN3
12/20 - vs. the citadel | 1pm, ESPN3
12/22 - vs. vmi | 7pm, ESPN3
12/27 - vs. presbyterian | 7pm, ESPN3
12/30 - @ west virginia | 2pm, ESPNU

January

01/03 - vs. syracuse | Noon, RSN
01/06 - @ fsu | 7pm, RSN
01/13 - @ louisville | 7pm, RSN
01/18 - @ unc | 6:30pm, ESPNU
01/22 - vs. notre dame | 7pm, RSN
01/25 - vs. uva | 1pm, ACCN
01/27 - vs. pittsburgh | 7pm, ESPNU
01/31 - @ wake forest | 2pm, RSN

February

02/03 - @ syracuse | 9pm, ESPNU
02/07 - vs. fsu | 3pm, ACCN
02/09 - vs. georgia tech | 9pm, ESPNU
02/14 - @ clemson | Noon, RSN
02/18 - @ miami | 7pm, RSN
02/21 - @ nc state | 6pm, ESPN2
02/25 - vs. duke | 9pm, ESPN2
02/28 - @ uva | 4pm, ACCN

March

03/02 - vs. boston college | 9pm, ESPNU
03/07 - vs. miami | Noon, RSN
**********
ACC Tournament
03/10 - 1st rd.
03/11 - 2nd rd.
03/12 - quarterfinals
03/13 - semifinals
03/14 - championship

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