Fraternity members camp out to support Frogs

Fraternity members camp out to support Frogs

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity showed its support for the men’s basketball team by camping out in front of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Monday night for the game against Rice on Tuesday.”We’re just trying to start a new tradition to get some support for the basketball program and have a good time doing it,” said SAE member Griffin Guthneck, a sophomore finance and economics major.

About 10 tents, filled with 15 to 20 SAE members of different classifications, were pitched on the lawn of the coliseum from about 5 p.m. Monday until game time at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Guthneck said.

“Our players were so excited to see them camping out there, I could see it in their eyes,” said Neil Dougherty, head coach of the men’s basketball team. “They had just finished practice, and they saw that, and it was like wow you’re kidding.”

Power forward Kevin Langford, a junior sociology major, said he sat down and talked with the students Monday night.

“It was real cool to have them out there and see some good fan support,” Langford said.

The fans stayed on the lawn throughout the night, even after the sprinklers went off around 11 p.m., leaving their makeshift campground and camping gear a little wet, Guthneck said.

“I promised them that won’t happen again,” Dougherty said of the sprinkler incident. “But to their credit they just moved their tents out into the parking lot and said ‘Coach, don’t worry about it, we’re staying anyway,’ and I thought that was really neat on their part.”

Kornelija Kairyte, director of basketball operations, said she had seen the group the night before and she didn’t think they had really spent the night, so she went out to check around 9 a.m., and they were still there.

“It was hilarious to see them waking up with their eyes all squinty and hair messed up,” Kairyte said.

Chancellor Victor Boschini also stopped by the SAE campout to show support for the SAE’s initiative, Guthneck said.

“We really enjoy it,” Langford said. “It gives us motivation when people do things like this. It’s good just having them, but it would be even better to have more people there.”

The fraternity plans to camp out again this season to get people motivated to come to games and show support, Guthneck said.

“I’d love to see this whole area full of little pup tents everytime we play,” Dougherty said, “because one of the things that can really add to a college basketball game is a college basketball atmosphere. And that’s just something that we can really improve around here.”

Last season, the average attendance at a men’s basketball game was 3,600 fans, and at this season’s home opener against Angelo State University on Saturday, the attendance was 3,043 fans, said Sean Conner, director of ticket operations.