On Tuesday, the men’s basketball team suffered another heartbreaking, last-second loss to Xavier. The students who filled the Smith Center filed out hanging their heads in disappointment after the team lost its third game out of its last four. The only thing these fans should be disappointed with is their conduct before, during and after the game.
GW’s emergence as a prominent national basketball team in the last two years raised the team’s profile on campus. As a result – and positively – more students continue to attend the team’s games. The raucous atmosphere generated by more students in the Smith Center could serve as a positive element contributing toward the creation of a genuine home court advantage. The general conduct of GW’s fans however, is regrettable, to say the least.
Before the Xavier game, fans in the student section started the chant “F– O-hi-o.” Besides the fact that many of the students blindly following this idiocy may have been from Ohio themselves, yelling such a chant is both devoid of class and a catalyst for inspiring the opposing team to play better. During the game itself, students made profane chants after every foul call against GW – regardless of whether it was legitimate or not. Even more disparaging is that these chants were heard louder than any chant encouraging the team. Perhaps most offensive, after Xavier buried its last second three-pointer, GW fans threw T-shirts and towels onto the court in disgust. How classy.
In a year in which the men’s basketball team has a legitimate shot to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999, the last thing the school should have to worry about is fan conduct. Fans at games should serve as an inspiration for the team to play better. Continued reckless and immature conduct helps no one but the team’s opponents.