We saw a little bit of drama in the Mizzou universe when head coach Barry Odom and school officials met with students about potential seating changes at home football games.
Missouri football coach Barry Odom has proposed moving the team from the east to the west sideline next season, dividing the student section as a result. [...]
Per SEC rules, students are not allowed to sit in the first 25 rows behind the visiting team bench. Tiger's Lair would still get front-row seats, but they'd be split into two groups between the 30-yard line and the end zone on each half of the field.
According to a diagram provided by MU Athletics, the proposed changes include:
• Home and visiting teams would switch sidelines.
• The first 11 rows behind the visiting team on the east sideline would go to visiting fans.
• Rows 12-17 would go to "young alumni" who graduated from MU within the last three to five years.
• The section for guests of MU players would remain unchanged.
This seems like a reasonably straight-forward trade. Odom wants teams to change sidelines, in theory to get the visiting team closer to what are generally the loudest fans. The SEC has a frankly silly rule associated with that, so Mizzou is compromising.
Of course, that didn’t sit particularly well with the students who would potentially end up with worse seats because of this compromise.
Only one student group, Tiger’s Lair, was resistant to the proposal, Joos said. The Tiger’s Lair is the school’s “official student cheering section for the Missouri Tigers,” according to the organization’s web site. “The Tiger’s Lair promotes school spirit and excitement at all home football games through the performance of organized card stunts and cheers, and by providing a great environment for costumes and spirited signs,” the site states. “Members of the section are recognized as the wildest, most dedicated, and most enthusiastic at Mizzou football games.” [...]
The Tiger's Lair later released a statement, saying the proposal will result in "a dramatic disinterest in Mizzou Football" and cited the section's challenges related to lower enrollment numbers and "a reduced desire for season tickets from current students due to the performance of the team."
It’s easy to understand why the Tiger’s Lair would be resistant to such a change. It’s also easy to roll your eyes at the thought that moving a few sections to the right or left would result in a “dramatic disinterest” or “reduced desire” to attend games (especially since student attendance was already a significant issue last year).
Missouri play-by-play guy Mike Kelly spent Tuesday evening unloading a little bit of enjoyable passive aggression on Twitter.
It’s easy to understand both points of view here. I assume Odom will end up getting his way, and I assume that, if Mizzou puts a good product on the field again, the threats of dramatic disinterest be proven false.