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UNF Spinnaker

New student group hopes to bring loyalty to UNF sports

By: Josh Brannock, Sports Editor


(Courtesy of Osprey Nation)

With UNF becoming less of a commuter school and more of a four-year university, the athletics department hopes to get more students involved with the sports programs on campus.


The athletics department has started a movement called Osprey Nation that looks to band current UNF students into one of the rowdiest groups of student fans in the Atlantic Sun.


Former UNF student Joshua Baker is leading the charge. Baker, who graduated from UNF in 2010, began working with the athletics department in mid-2011.



Baker said schools similar to UNF already have student groups in place, such as the Rowdy Reptiles of the University of Florida and the Knightmare student group of the University of Central Florida.


“We wanted to come together and create something that would excite the students, and we [the athletics department] think Osprey Nation is the thing that can do that,” Baker said.


This is the first year for the group, and the athletics department has expressed it will be a challenge to spread the word to current students. In order to make news about the group more widespread, the department has taken to social and electronic media to gain attention from students on campus.


Osprey Nation has a page on the athletics website, a Facebook page and its own Twitter account in order to offer more information on the group.


An issue that could possibly deter some students to sign up for the Nation is the fact that only current students can be in the group. The group is not open to alumni of the school, but Baker doesn’t feel this issue will cause students to turn down the opportunity to be a part of a new uprising in fan support at the school.


“The goal was to get our younger students involved,” Baker said.


Another prevalent issue is the group doesn’t typically sit together at sporting events. At basketball games, you can see groups of students wearing an Osprey Nation T-Shirt, but the groups are spread out, and there is no definite section for crazy Osprey faithfuls.


“The biggest thing with that [the lack of a combined section] is we do have a number of students who are signed up … but they don’t always want to sit in section five, they want to sit with their friends,” Baker said.


With the group, UNF Athletics has brought a new culture to fan support at the school. In order for students to join the group, they must pay $10 a year, or they can sign up for a four-year plan for $30, if they are freshmen or juniors who are planning on taking graduate classes.


Email Josh Brannock at [email protected].
Follow @spinnakersports


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