Ole Miss’ student section thinned out against Auburn last Saturday, and Rebels coach Hugh Freeze wants to prevent that sight from happening in the future.
As reported by The Oxford Eagle’s Davis Potter, Freeze said Monday he hopes students who leave early from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will “reconsider” their decision to do so. Potter mentions that “hordes of students were seen leaving the stadium early in the fourth quarter with some exiting well before that,” during the Rebels’ 40-29 loss to the Tigers, a result that dropped Ole Miss to 3-5.
Here are more of Freeze’s comments from Potter’s story:
“Does it bother me that some seats are empty at an SEC Western Division game with a one-point halftime game when you come out? It does,” Freeze said. “I would hope that they would stay for that, and many do. I wish the ones that choose to leave will certainly reconsider it because we need their support. We need that place to be difficult and they’re probably the ones that can make it the most difficult.”
It’s easy to understand why students might be interested in doing other things. (And we know there are a few options in Oxford on Saturday nights.) The Rebels have failed to realize their preseason promise, and the current three-game losing skid has eliminated all hope of Ole Miss threatening for an SEC West title.
But you have to give Freeze and Ole Miss officials credit for trying to rekindle student interest. On Tuesday, students are invited to check out the Rebels’ practice. That’s a creative idea, and it’s one other SEC programs should adopt for the future.
Still, winning is the only cure for this problem, and Ole Miss hasn’t done much of it lately. Freeze should hope he doesn’t see images like the one below again soon.
It's a 1 point game in the 4th quarter and Ole Miss's student section just keeps getting emptier and emptier. pic.twitter.com/cWvQ2muFIR
— Bethanee Smith (@bethaneesmith) October 30, 2016