Bee columnist Marek Warszawski is right in his assessment of the challenge around men’s basketball facing Fresno State’s new athletic director.
However, one thing he left out is the way the school treated students during and after the Boyd Grant and Jerry Tarkanian years. Student interest in men’s basketball was high, so much so that there was a lottery on campus for the right to buy student tickets. However, only a minimal number of tickets were provided to students, and they were scattered all around Selland Arena, leaving no true “student section” that should be a part of every collegiate team.
If you were to walk into Selland Arena during those years, you would think you had entered a taping of “The Lawrence Welk Show” by looking at the crowd. Granted, these fans paid good money to support the ’Dogs and were extremely loyal. But Fresno State chose to take the money at that time, at the expense of developing future, long-term alumni as fans.
It has paid a high price for that decision ever since. The empty seats prove my point.