Our editorial board is all for making political statements and speaking out when there’s a problem but we also understand the importance of supporting our students and athletes.
Pete Garcia’s contract was extended. It happened, and there is nothing that we can do now to change it. Boycotting games because he’s still employed at the University only hurts our athletics and the athletes who play for us.
Our athletics department has resorted to bribing students to attend football home games. Our tailgates have more participants than our games. As an eboard we’ve heard it before: “I’ll go to a game when Pete Garcia doesn’t work at FIU.”
So, while our athletes play in front of empty bleachers because of protests against Garcia having his job, he’s getting paid.
We want Garcia not to be the executive director of sports and entertainment just as much as most students and alumni. We, however, do not want our school spirit and athletes to continue to get the short-end of the protest stick.
There will be hundreds, if not thousands, of students and community members who will attend this year’s homecoming concert, who will participate in the homecoming parade, and who will come to the University to tailgate before kickoff.
It’s ridiculous that a majority of these people will not come see the hard work our football team puts into practicing and preparing for the game.
Lil Dicky, 2 Chainz and Makj, while deserving of the crowds they’ll bring because of the talents they have, do nothing to increase and instill school spirit. They do not sit in classes with us, walk the same hallways as us nor pay the tuition and fees we do. They do not face the challenge of maintaining a GPA and spending 20 hours a week in practice and preparing for the physical beating their body will get.
The reason we are not be like the University of Miami isn’t because our team’s winning percentage is below 50 percent; it’s because as a community we don’t rally behind our team and players like those at UM.
School spirit has to begin somewhere. We’re asking that it begin by students making it past the parking lot tailgate and into the stadium.
Win or lose, our football team deserves to have us in the stadium to support them.
Image retrieved from Flickr.