As an Alumni, I Have a Gripe With the Pitt Student Section

Photo Credit: Antonio Wolfe

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The photo above was taken by me from my seats up in section 538 on Saturday evening at Acrisure Stadium.  This is a photo of the Pitt student section.  No, this was not taken just shortly after the game was over, nor was it taken before kickoff.  It was taken with 3:19 left in the 4th quarter.  3:19 left in the 4th quarter of a game between the reigning ACC Champion Pitt Panthers, ranked 17th, and a ranked SEC team, the Tennessee Volunteers. 

Also, the game was no blowout.  Despite seeing many empty seats in the photo, the game was actually extremely exciting and had a close score for the entirety of the game.  In fact, when this photo was taken, the Panthers were driving to tie the game and put it into overtime, completing an improbable comeback with their hobbled backup quarterback.  The Panthers would eventually succumb to one of the best offenses in the country, although the defense spectacularly only gave up three points in the entire second half.  Despite the loss, it was a hard-fought game by the home team.

However, half of the students missed it, as they left about an hour before the final whistle.  Per the usual, the students started filing out after Sweet Caroline played between the 3rd quarter and the 4th quarter.  They got their Instagram stories and Tik Toks of the them swaying back and forth with each other to some Neil Diamond and then they selfishly left for Oakland.

I give a ton of credit to those who did stay.  Those you see in the photo, albeit grainy, hats off to you.  Thank you for supporting your team.  The rest of you, spare me with your excuses.

I know, I know, the buses take a long time to get back to Oakland.  Well, I was a college kid once too.  The parties don't start until 10PM.  You had plenty of time to get back to campus by 8-830 and still make it out for a bunch of games of beer pong and flip cup.  

Also, the stadium being in the North Shore isn't new.  You knew the stadium was there when you visited Pitt.  You knew the stadium was there when you enrolled Pitt.  And you sure as hell knew it was there when you bought the season tickets.  

In a sport where homefield advantage is so pivotal, Tennessee fans were louder in overtime than Pitt fans.  This was due in large part to two Pitt entities letting the team down on Saturday.  The Pitt Athletics office did not price tickets according to demand, as I spoke about last week and as referenced in the photos below.  This made for many empty sections on Saturday.  It was a selfish money grab by the athletic department and it greatly stunted attendance and Pitt's homefield advantage.

But also, the students let the team down.  I dreamed about games like this being played at home when I attended as a student form 2011-2015.  I would have loved to see a ranked Pitt team take on a ranked SEC team whilst coming off a huge win in a rivalry game.  But I never got that opportunity.  These students did and they wasted it.  It's a shame, and I'm disgusted.  Just stay home next time and give your ticket up to someone who will value it.  

From this alumni and season ticket holder I'll just sign off now with Hail to Pitt!