Scott Van Pelt made news this month for lamenting the poor student attendance at Maryland football games. One of his points — which he had made to me earlier in the fall — was that students seem not to know that they’re supposed to stay for an entire 60-minute game.
“Eventually they’re going to need you to be there in the fourth quarter, and I’m afraid there are going to be people that don’t know sports that aren’t going to realize that the game is actually not over [at halftime],” he told me. “Truly. I think they think when the band comes out, that that signals it’s time to leave. Because there’s a different variety of kid that goes there now. When I went to school, we were idiots, but we knew there were 60 minutes in a game. I think kids now get 1600 on their SATs and think football’s a 30-minute game or something. Maybe you give them a gentle nudge, say hey, I know how smart you guys are, I don’t know if you need a brush-up here, there’s actually four quarters in a game, that’s generally how it goes.”
Well, the gentle nudge came this week. Maryland sent out the above reminder to students about Saturday’s homecoming game against No. 9 Clemson.
Among the bullet points: “Stay until the end — game is not over until the clock hits zero.”
Also, “Be in your seats for the first timeout of the 1st quarter to be part of something you don’t want to miss.”