Saturdayâ€™s Homecoming football game was a perfect example of why a star high school athlete wouldnâ€™t want to play for CSU.
And it wasnâ€™t anything on the field that would drive a prospective Ram away.
It was the stream of students pouring out of Hughes at halftime.
Sure, the performance on the field in the first half was disappointing. But it was a 10-point game, and the football team had proven its comeback-ability the week before against Utah State.
But it was embarrassing to see the halfhearted effort from the students, on Homecoming of all days.
The team seemed to have finally built some momentum within the community.
Almost all general admission tickets were sold and student tickets were grabbed up by Thursday afternoon.
An energetic crowd at Hughes as the team fought to move to 4-1 was just what was needed for a young team that is learning how to win.
But at the first sign of trouble, the students bailed.
In a game that was still entirely winnable, a quarter of the students started leaving at halftime.
And when the Rams came storming back, the noise that could have been generated by the missing students was noticeable.
And the argument that CSU isnâ€™t a top-tier program doesnâ€™t carry any weight.
The University of Montana—a Division-II team—averaged 25,000 last season when they were 7-4.
Itâ€™s not that hard to cheer on your team for three hours six Saturdays a year. And if youâ€™re not going to stay for the whole game, donâ€™t get a ticket.
If students canâ€™t support their team, why would they expect top athletes to come play at CSU?