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Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

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Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby rAggie » November 30th, 2011, 11:30 pm

Pretty interesting responses tonight on here and on Twitter from fans, media, and others about the "silent protest" at the beginning of the game.

Let me say first I cannot possibly support more the act of silent protest. Kudos to the student section. You generated talk, and that is fantastic.

A lot of people are criticizing the students saying it was selfish, immature, "douchey" and was an act of the group wrongly thinking they were bigger than the basketball team.

Let me be among the first to say what might be difficult for some to accept: The student section in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum IS bigger than the basketball team. I'm not talking in physical size or presence. I am saying that Utah State basketball has national notoriety for one thing, and that is for the student section. If you search "Utah State Basketball" on YouTube, you are going to see videos with millions of hits, and they are all for the antics of the student section. An argument can be made that the student section has generated more national press for the program than anything the team has done of late. Certainly, more positive press has been generated by the student section than has been generated by the team picking up marquee or tournament wins.

My point is this: The edict that was issued to the student section tonight is one of the stupidest, most ill-advised, short-sighted things the athletics and USU administration has done in a long time. In the athletics side of things, it is on par with downgrading the size of Romney Stadium as far as stupidity. It was unnecessary, an overreaction, and dealt a crippling blow to what is possibly the school's greatest PR asset.

Congratulations to the student section for having the balls to stand up against the administrators, if even for just three minutes. We can only hope that someone like Stew Morrill figures out what happened, that the student section he loves was neutered, and he raises holy hell about it. If not, and these kinds of weak restrictions continue, then let Stan Albrecht and Scott Barnes have the half-empty, quiet, weak, unintimidating student section they deserve and watch Utah State basketball slip into mediocrity.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby AgMac » November 30th, 2011, 11:34 pm

I could not have said it better, rAggie.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby MetsJetsAggies » November 30th, 2011, 11:36 pm

:golfclap: :golfclap: :golfclap:
:cheers:
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby Socrates2121 » November 30th, 2011, 11:36 pm

:utah: :state: :scotsman:

Right on....
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby UtahStizzle » November 30th, 2011, 11:39 pm

Teams come and go, players move on, but the Spectrum is always there.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby BigBlueAggie » November 30th, 2011, 11:43 pm

Amen!
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby isrred » November 30th, 2011, 11:46 pm

I have spent more hours waiting in line for Aggie Athletics in my 4 years here than I have spent in class (and I am a dedicated, scholarship student). I LOVE the Aggies and I NEVER thought I would see the day when I didn't feel like it was fun. Tonight, while being hounded by event/athletic department staff before the game with threat after threat after threat, for the first time in my life, I was faced with the prospect of that not being fun anymore.

If some of the most dedicated and die hard fans of any team I have ever seen start being fearful, timid, and losing the "fun" element, how do you think some of the less "die-hard" students are going to react to the more restrictive, less energetic environment?

Three minutes well worth it to send a message that the students dont HAVE to cheer and scream and that placing stupid restrictions on them will handicap the atmosphere that makes that building and this program so special.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby treesap32 » November 30th, 2011, 11:46 pm

Well said. My thoughts exactly.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby bpd » November 30th, 2011, 11:49 pm

Well said rAggie, now copy this and email Scott Barnes this exact same thing, I have already emailed him.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby rAggie » November 30th, 2011, 11:52 pm

I won't bother emailing it to Scott Barnes because he would never read it. He is one person who thinks he is bigger than every other aspect of the program, in my opinion.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby Aglicious » December 1st, 2011, 12:16 am

classic..
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby EarlOfHemsley » December 1st, 2011, 12:30 am

I think the root of this problem is twofold - BYU can't handle the Spectrum, and the administration is trying to impose a certain morality on the fans at a sporting event.

I am so torn up emotionally by this situation. While the students certainly made their point at the game, their lack of support hurt the team they profess to love. I would much rather have seen this team beat Denver than the students try to make a point about how unjust the new rules in the Spectrum are. (Though I'm not sure how much the students could have affected this game. The Aggies got thumped.)

The fact that BYU is hesitant to come to Logan in the first place is a total mystery to me. Why BYU feels they should be privileged and not have to face the verbal barrage that the student body gives to every visitor is beyond me. It's part of the atmosphere. It's part of the culture. It's part of the game. Athletes and administrators need to learn to let those things roll off them. Trying to protect the athletes from adversity only does those athletes a disservice anyway, in the long scheme of things.

That being said, I understand why Stan was embarrassed. He feels responsible for the students. He has his own personal moral code of conduct. He would never have said the things the students said, and since he is LDS and BYU is owned by the LDS church, I can understand why he would be inclined to apologize for the students' behavior. I often find myself embarrassed for what the students say and do. I don't issue apologies though, and I wouldn't have issued one here either. I am just saying I understand.

But imposing that behavioral code on the students, like rAggie said, is going to hurt the basketball program in the long term because the crowd really IS bigger than the ball team. We've had some pretty dang good ball clubs here in the last five years, but the crowd has been the factor drawing the national attention to the club and making the Spectrum so impenetrable. Not allowing the students to be who they are hurts the team, hurts the students, and hurts the product USU is offering to the community, crude as the students may be at times.

I wish the students were less crude and more creative too, Stan, but I'll blush a few times for the students and take 30 wins over trying to impose morals. We're a state school, and who is BYU to tell USU how to act? We don't owe them a dang thing, especially after they abandoned the WAC when Reno and Frez stabbed us in the back.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby cameraman » December 1st, 2011, 12:40 am

GO AGGIES? haha love you all.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby jpswensen » December 1st, 2011, 7:16 am

rAggie wrote:The student section in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum IS bigger than the basketball team.


I wholeheartedly disagree, and this attitude will be the downfall of the Spectrum magic and you should probably have your USU fancard revoked. The second anyone makes the statement that the students are bigger than the team or the team is more important than the students, they have gotten off-track. The fans and the team are one and the same. Sometimes the team (in this case admins) do something that harms the symbiotic nature of fans and team, and sometimes the fans do something that damages this relationship (the silly silent protest), but the second you start thinking of the students and the team as separate entities, it is the beginning of the end.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby CodingAggieBlue » December 1st, 2011, 7:56 am

jpswensen wrote:... should probably have your USU fancard revoked...

According to every student I know that was at the game: this is exactly what they were threatened with if they acted like USU student fans. Part of what upsets me about this is that the student section has usually been pretty good at policing its own. As soon as the "edict" was issued, I see 3 options: 1) Their silent protest -- which I think did harm the team in the short term; 2) Full compliance -- which I think harms the team in the long term; or 3) Throw away all of the rules, increase the intensity, and probably the cross the lines that haven't been crossed in the past decade. None of these make me particularly happy but I won't blame the students for choosing either option 1 or 3. If this were only about the letter of apology, then I would be agreeing with everyone who says that the protest was stup** -- oops, I mean "not decent".

However, I fully agree with your point that a symbiotic relationship exists between the team and the students. That relationship has been disrupted. And I agree that if we can't get both the students and administrators to do what's best for the team in the long run, it will be the death of the Spectrum.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby bhsteele » December 1st, 2011, 8:05 am

I for one would rather have Aggie basketball than the spectum. Play the game on a park basketball court, and I will be there. It's because of the team that there is a reason to cheer. The players don't come to watch us, we go to watch them.
Last edited by bhsteele on December 1st, 2011, 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby hipsterdoofus21 » December 1st, 2011, 8:10 am

I only wish they would have refrained from doing the I Believe chant. Kind of strange to do it and then go quiet. I think it would have sent an even stronger message.

I unfortunately think the Spectrum as we all knew it is already dead. First Fafner retires, then Wild Bill, and now the students are threatened for doing what they've always done. I just don't see things getting back to what they were unless the rules are lifted or revised, and Stan/Scott recognize their faults. I don't see either happening.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby AgMan21 » December 1st, 2011, 8:56 am

I don't think that the fact the students wanted to protest is why people are so disappointed with last night. I understand their vexation, and I can see why they would want to get their point across. What bothers me is how they did it. When a group of people protest their goal should be to do as much damage to "the establishment" while doing as little damage to their cause. For example, during the civil rights movement, many of the leadership called for violent protest. However better minds prevailed and they avoided doing irreparable damage to the cause. This silent protest certainly sent a message, but at the same time damaged the students ultimate cause, or what should be the ultimate cause, of getting the win. I can't imagine the disappointment the team must have felt coming out to a crowd that refused to stand up and cheer for them.

No, what the students should have done was dared the event staff to throw the entire damn student section out. That would have made a much much much better point and made a much larger media splash. On the flip side if the event staff didn't throw anyone out, it would have emasculated them, and made their threats hollow and meaningless. The silent protest was a poor substitute to how they should have handled it. Pure and simple. And I would have been honored to be the first one thrown out.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby hipsterdoofus21 » December 1st, 2011, 8:59 am

Great point about the civil rights movement, but hard to say "do it anyway" when its not your ID on the line.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby UtahStizzle » December 1st, 2011, 9:09 am

bhsteele wrote:I for one would rather have Aggie basketball than the spectum. Play the game on a park basketball court, and I will be there. It's because of the team that there is a reason to cheer. The players don't come to watch us, we go to watch them.


Yeah but the Spectrum is a big part of making USU basketball a successful program. Many, many programs out there win 10 games a year with crowds under 1,000 people a game. I wouldn't enjoy that and it wouldn't get us anywhere as an athletic institution.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby NIrishAg » December 1st, 2011, 9:26 am

It was selfish and immature of the student section. Look, the letter was written because some of the students crossed the line of decency against BYU - it would have been better if USU had taken action at the BYU game against what they deemed as inappropriate rather than waiting until a couple weeks later. USU is a public university, the Spectrum is a public forum, this university represents this community, some of the signs attacking Davies were not representative of those things and were offensive in a public forum. Accept that we are not in California or New York - sexual innuendo and the F-bomb are not deemed to be socially acceptable here. Furthermore, the students aren't really upset that the university issued an apology - no, they are upset that they issued an apology to BYU. If we had been playing anyone else, this would have been a non-issue. But because it is BYU, suddenly USU is becoming moral police and are stooping to the actions of BYU. This protest is more about BYU than it is about USU, and its pathetic.

But I will compliment the students for sticking by their morals (however, dubious they may be). Congratulations on sucking the atmosphere out of the Spectrum. Congratulations for helping our team to one of the most embarrassing losses suffered in the Spectrum in a long time. Congratulations for showing that being petty and snarky is the easy road. You should all applaud yourselves, you are all true fans. Who knew that in the "We believe" chant the student section was referring to themselves as the winners, because it was apparent they didn't give a crap about the team winning.

So go ahead and flame away. Continue the little group-think session, keep patting each other on the back and take pride in your accomplishment. I'll keep being a fan and I'll keep cheering for the Ags, the students can go ahead and keep making statements and supporting our opponents; they seem to be good at that, their team is undefeated when using that strategy.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby hipsterdoofus21 » December 1st, 2011, 9:36 am

NIrishAg, it wasn't the apology and it wasn't about BYU. It was the new rules and threats that pushed the issue. And many people, the students included agree that maybe it wasn't the best way to handle it. But they were acting in the moment after getting slapped in the face by the school they love and support.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby NIrishAg » December 1st, 2011, 9:43 am

hipsterdoofus21 wrote:NIrishAg, it wasn't the apology and it wasn't about BYU. It was the new rules and threats that pushed the issue. And many people, the students included agree that maybe it wasn't the best way to handle it. But they were acting in the moment after getting slapped in the face by the school they love and support.


It was planned and deliberate, it wasn't acting in the moment. And USU has said before that they aren't going to permit the Stupid chant, and all of the students did it and the admin does nothing, because they realize it was dumb and can't throw out all of the students. The students should have responded similarly here.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby isrred » December 1st, 2011, 9:49 am

NIrishAg wrote:
hipsterdoofus21 wrote:NIrishAg, it wasn't the apology and it wasn't about BYU. It was the new rules and threats that pushed the issue. And many people, the students included agree that maybe it wasn't the best way to handle it. But they were acting in the moment after getting slapped in the face by the school they love and support.


It was planned and deliberate, it wasn't acting in the moment. And USU has said before that they aren't going to permit the Stupid chant, and all of the students did it and the admin does nothing, because they realize it was dumb and can't throw out all of the students. The students should have responded similarly here.


Of course it was "planned and deliberate". Do you think that we have SO much power that we can convince 3,000 students to sit and do nothing for the EXACT SAME amount of time without some sort of planning and deliberate coordination??

Where you are wrong is that it was not planned before getting slapped in the face with threat after threat after threat upon taking our seats at the game. Sure we were miffed about the apology, but people were over it. The "protest" wasn't decided or coordinated until a little before game time.
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Re: Why silent protest was right, and critics are wrong

Postby hipsterdoofus21 » December 1st, 2011, 9:51 am

thats what I meant to say, thanks for summing it up irsrred
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