January 9, 2012 at 4:28 am #4484
Some off-season mind excercises …
From the perspective of knowing some kids on campus and from returning now and again:
I’ve not researched this from an attendance point of view — maybe someone else has — but I wonder what the effect of co-education (or just a new breed of student) has had and will have on attendance, future athletics partnership support etc.
I hear stories of great student attendance at football games and wrestling matches — in particular — from the 1940s to about the 1960s. There always were older, well-dressed men — with their wives and kids, sometimes — at games/matches in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of those guys are getting older now. But students seemed to be interested, too.
Now, I’m hearing — and on limited times seeing — that students love to go to morning cocktails and tailgates more than the games, and many never make it into the stadium.
Is this a generational thing or co-ed thing?
How many alumnae bring their non-Lehigh husbands, sons and daughters back for football games and wrestling matches? How many alumnae non-athletes donate to the Athletics Partnership?
For decades, LU has had the support of 4,100 sports-starved male alumni each year. But things are changing.
How will this affect the future? Or will it? Any thoughts, studies you know of?January 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm #4486
As I was there pre co ed,there may be some truth to coeds taking the edge off need for all male population to vent at sports. However there are many coed schools with good attendance. Interesting but I dont think a major factor. More pertinent is ease of access . If you have a real ardent fan they will go over the mountain. Casual fans , not so much. When I was in school it was just a short walk down the hill for all sports. Would I schlepp out on a cold winter’s night , sans cars, to get to a Bball game.Probably notJanuary 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm #4505
"sundayamqb" wrote: I hear stories of great student attendance at football games and wrestling matches — in particular — from the 1940s to about the 1960s. There always were older, well-dressed men — with their wives and kids, sometimes — at games/matches in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of those guys are getting older now. But students seemed to be interested, too. Is this a generational thing or co-ed thing?
1. Oversaturation of I-A games on TV makes travel to a I-AA game less desirable
2. Proliferation of children’s sports/activities for families to attend crowds out early starts.
3. A student body that didn’t grow up in the local area or region. Harvard used to draw 30,000 a game but most of its students (and their families) were from New England. Now, fewer are.January 11, 2012 at 1:30 am #4508
All valid points and part of the picture. It is also a cultural "thing" and seen at other PL schools. Attendance down across the board. Partly due to type of student at Lehigh now….as LU has become a much tougher school to get into, and has become more ‘egg-headed’. Lots of diversions that didn’t exist 40 years ago both gender-wise and technology. While some women are football fans, not at the higher academic realms such as the IL and PL. Not too many "rah-rah" coeds on South Mountain. On top of all this is an administration that has gutted the ‘fun’ of going to a football game by harrassing the tailgates and making them tear down and remove everything before the game. Who wants to lug all that stuff back over the Mountain and have to turn around and come back. The game’s on TV..drink in the comfort of the dorm or apt and watch. Real smart.
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