Winning Would Shine Positive Light on Athletics

Just win baby!<p> This phrase engulfs the world of sports. It's easy to conceive and even easier to utter.<p> But this simple little phrase, the one every athlete lives and breathes for, is the most difficult feat for any team or individual to accomplish consistently.

Yet this is what Cal State Fullerton Athletic Director Brian Quinn says needs to happen for CSUF Athletics in order to put more fans in the stands. Every coach and player on campus would agree. And the fans, most of whom don't exist, demand it.

However, if life were that simple, I would be suiting up for the blue, orange and white myself. The fact remains clear like the top row in Titan Gym at game time — attendance at Fullerton athletic events is embarrassingly low.

Let's look at some numbers that stand out, keeping in mind there are about 30,000 students enrolled at this university.

The women's basketball team, over a three game homestand during the 2001-02 season, attracted a measly 131, 207 and 225 fans respectively. In a 20-point blowout loss on Feb. 15 against Idaho, the total attendance at Titan Gym was 75.

But women's basketball is not the only ones feeling the home blues.

Men's basketball drew an average of 980 fans during the 2001-02 season, and men's soccer averaged only 707 fans a year ago. Women's soccer averaged only 554 in 2001 and the women's volleyball team racked in an abysmal 178 average.

If you were to ask people for an excuse or theory as to why this is so, without a doubt, the mother of them all will rise:

"This is a commuter school."

How many times have you heard that one?

How many times have you been stuck on the 57, 91, 60 and 5 freeways and thought of that excuse?

Have you ever drove around Lot E looking for a space thinking, "How about Titan Athletics?"

It's hard enough dealing with driving and school, without having to come in and watch "home" mediocrity competing against "visitor" mediocrity, only to see the guest team win.

We need incentive. Quinn is right, the coaches are right and the players are right. Nobody wants to spend thier weekend watching a losing team.

It's hard enough to get students to attend class. Do we really expect them to stay late on a Tuesday night to watch a basketball team lose by 20? I'm hoping that doesn't happen this year, although it's highly likely.

In all fairness, sometimes winning doesn't solve the problem.

The baseball team is always a contender. Women's soccer won the Big West last season and softball reeled off 32 straight wins at one point during their season. Yet, the most attention any of them received was from the Daily Titan.

Promoting is key. Pep rallies in the quad would help. Let people know what our teams are doing. Make the games an exciting event. A few student leaders are attempting to boost attendance with clubs like Titan Tusk Force, but it's not enough. Then again, playing in the lowly Big West Conference doesn't help, when the only attention the teams receive from the media comes if UCLA or USC is on the schedule and that's a big "if."

It all comes back to winning. If you win, they will come. The bandwagon is the most exciting thing to jump on when it's rolling. But at a dead stop, no one is interested.

Think of the Cal State Northridge basketball team and all the attention it has received in the local media for making it to the NCAA tournament the past two seasons. This relatively small school put itself on the nation's radar by winning small games that took them to bigger games, then winning those. Cal State Fullerton needs to start doing the same.

CSUF has been stuck in the mud for far too long. Winning is the key to all woes. Sure it's common sense. It's a simple goal that is attainable in the mind, but at the same time for Titan fans, seems like a distant reality.