Students help sell out Senior Night
First came the Cameron Crazies, and then came the Oakland Zoo. Now Pirate Nation is the latest college student section to receive national attention.
During Tuesday night’s Pirate upset over No. 8 Georgetown, the student section “rocked the Rock.” The temporary seating was shaking and Twitter was going crazy with the media tweeting about the intensity of the students behind them.
In the final minute, the aisles filled with students. The PA played “Jump On It” by the Sugarhill Gang and “Jump Around” by House Of Pain. This sent the students into frenzy.
“It was wild. There were not a lot of people there. Everyone was going crazy,” junior Jordan Callahan said.
As the final buzzer approached, the crowd chanted “Storm the Court! Storm the Court!” When the horn sounded, mayhem began when a group of 30 students attempted to storm the court despite arena security acting as a barrier between the students and the playing floor.
“I was in the aisle,” Callahan said. “I looked around at everyone and thought ‘we all have to go.’ But when I was in the aisle, I thought ‘this isn’t Seton Hall’s venue, they aren’t going to just let us go.”
The Associate athletic director of external affairs, Jamison Hannigan, said the decision to not allow students on the floor was made in the final four minutes of the game.
“We came to a decision that it would cause injury to press and photography and made the decision to stop a large amount of students rushing the floor,” Hannigan said. “If there was a time where there wouldn’t be a safety issue, then we would consider it.”
Senior Kyle Norwood agreed with Jamison. He said that because of the team’s success on the floor this year, you should expect to compete and beat a team like Georgetown.
“This is Seton Hall, we demand to be one of the best teams in the Big East,” Norwood said. “I think it’s a little ridiculous. I understand the team is being considered for the tournament, but if you’re a good school, you don’t storm the court against Georgetown.”
This all occurred with 518 students in the student section.
During Saturday’s game against rival Rutgers, 1,200 students will be in attendance, along with the general public for the season’s first official sellout.
While a majority of those tickets were sold to the general public, the athletic department sold a season-high 1,200 tickets to the student body.
General admission tickets went on sale to Seton Hall students on Monday morning.
According to Hannigan, the entire allotment of 500 tickets was sold out within hours of being released at the athletic box office.
“We sold out of entire allotment on Monday within three hours,” Hannigan said. “With student ticket holders, regular student seats and student athletes there will be about 1,100 students at the game. We worked with the arena yesterday to add 75 seats to make the total close to 1,200. Those tickets were sold out in 12 minutes.”
During the latest ticket sale on Wednesday morning, more than 150 students lined up outside the athletic box office to purchase the tickets.
Senior Nick Diakos stood in line for an hour and a half to buy a pair of tickets.
“It is very exciting,” Diakos said. “I’ve been trying to go to a game all year. As soon as I heard they were selling more tickets, I was there at 10:30.”
Norwood, who has become a campus phenomenon because of the outrageous costumes he wears during the second half of games, also was thrilled to see the excitement surrounding the game. He said he hopes this carries on to next year’s team.
“Students should have been supporting the team all year,” he said. “I know people are complaining that tickets aren’t available, but they should have gotten tickets back in November.”
Junior Aaron Murdock was not in line to buy tickets on Wednesday, but he said the lack of available tickets never would have happened in years past.
“Two years ago, our student section never would have sold out like that, regardless of how the basketball team was playing, with the two sections behind the basket,” Murdock said. “Where the student section is, is not college basketball. You want to look at it when it’s on the floor. It reminds me of a parent watching their kid play, not a student showing school pride.”
Hannigan said the reason why there are no more student tickets available is because the entire building is sold out.
“It’s tremendous. To see that sort of fan support for the student body is great,” Hannigan said. “It was so big that Fuquan Edwin came out and took a picture.”
Norwood said he hopes the student section is better than it has ever been before. He said Saturday’s game will have a lot of energy because of the Senior Night festivities and the rivalry with Rutgers.
“I think it’s going to be one of the crazier games I’ve been to in my four years here,” Norwood said. “I hope everyone has fun and it doesn’t get chaotic. I hope people control themselves. It’s Senior Night and Herb (Pope) and Jordan (Theodore) have carried us, so they deserve the respect from the students.”
A limited number of tickets will be available on Saturday at the Prudential Center box office beginning at 11 a.m. for $10. These seats are located in the last row behind the basket opposite the student section.
Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m., with Senior Night festivities beginning at 4:45 p.m.
Tim LeCras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org