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UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Wins key to filling seats, securing funding

Last year, arriving five minutes before game time still got you a good spot on the first or second row for most UNF men’s and women’s basketball games.

However, UNF’s revised Osprey Club plans to delegate certain sections of UNF Arena for students with the most notable section being behind one of the nets and possibly being called ‘the Birdcage.’

But do the students really want their section named after an iconic 1996 gay comedy, starring Robin Williams?

For it to be called The Birdcage, though, it needs birds, and students have a history of being in short supply.

Women’s basketball Head Coach Mary Tappmeyer has recently expressed difficulty in raising student attendance, even at one point offering free pizza to students.

Tappmeyer said she likes the men’s and women’s games scheduled back-to-back because it promotes attendance to both games.

This is a lot better than having games spread out across the week, and it should be easier for the athletics department to market two games in one.

In the busy college life filled with extensive projects and quick deadlines, students don’t have the time to support two teams. Putting the games right next to each other makes it a lot easier.

Tappmeyer and men’s basketball Head Coach Matthew Driscoll are both in agreement that the best thing UNF can do to raise attendance is win: something the team has not been doing a lot of lately.

Driscoll has a history of turning programs around.

At Baylor, as an assistant coach, he helped lead the team to its fourth ever 20 win season and a berth in the NCAA tourney.

Having an Osprey Club, though, is a good idea. A great idea if it succeeds. Right now, it is in the hands of Matt Kilcullen, who Lee Moon calls “well-connected.”

Kilcullen will be in charge of doing something no one ever did for him while he was UNF’s coach. And during his coaching reign, he expressed how tough it was winning on such a low budget.

The Osprey Club is still in its beginning stage, and it will take years upon decades for it to experience the type of the impact that Gator boosters have.

A good year out of our basketball programs could really increase funding through the club. Now it looks as if the Osprey Club has given the athletics program a fundamental process of how to raise money.

If the men’s or women’s basketball teams can make it to the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament in Macon, Ga., then anything can happen; they could find themselves in the NCAA tournament with national attention.

While losing may diminish potential donations, winning could change everything.

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