Sit down before you read this

Paul Kix

You are getting screwed. Hilton Coliseum allows 14,000 fans – 3,800 of them students.

Yet 3,100 of those students sit in the balcony, sequestered behind rich alumni who prefer clapping to cheering.

Drowned out by a band that only knows four songs.

The 700 students below the balcony are given three sections: one behind the basket on the west side, and two parquet sections, says David Crum, ticket manager at Iowa State.

“I think what we have is very comparable to teams across the Big 12 and the country,” ISU Director of Media Relations Tom Kroeschell says.


Duke’s seating capacity at Cameron Indoor Stadium is 9,314.

Twelve hundred students sit in the Arena Circle, the area closest to the action.

For the Carolina game, a few hundred more squeeze in, says Greg Skidmore, who seats his peers as a head line monitor at Duke.

Grad students take up another 2,000 seats.

At Kansas, 16,300 is the capacity.

Students occupy 6,300 of those seats – many of which are behind the baskets.

At Iowa, 2,200 students sit in the Hawks Nest, the sections positioned throughout the arena closest to Luke Recker’s sweat.

Areas where insults from college kids in yellow T-shirts are spewed as often as the beer.

But it isn’t even about being comparable, like Kroeschell says, because Iowa State isn’t.

Larry Eustachy’s men’s team has the third most Division I wins in the last three years. Women’s coach Bill Fennelly’s team is ranked second nationally in the Basketball News pre-season poll.

Yet students go unloved.

Sure, seating is worse at Nebraska, where only 400 students are in the parquet.

But name the last time Cornhusker fans worried about basketball.

Students here were quite worried about getting a good seat at the men’s game against Kansas last February.

Some got a place in line at 6 a.m. Saturday for the early afternoon tip-off.

It was colder that morning than Yankees General Manager George Steinbrenner on Down-sizing Day.

And if you weren’t one of the 700 chosen ones, you sat up high.

So some students didn’t go.

I don’t blame you.

I’d rather wake up at 11 a.m., pee, eat a bowl of Cheerios and have a Jack Nicholson-esque view of the game from my couch than stand in line for hours, staving off the mid-winter cold and a hangover, only to find my seat three rows from the ceiling where I can’t tell who’s donning the black mock turtleneck.

But the university didn’t like to see unfilled seats.

So now the lottery system is in place for the Jayhawks and Hawkeyes games (heavy story on page 1).

But if you don’t pick up your Iowa or Kansas tickets in time, the university sells them to the public.

In essence, Iowa State gets money twice.

Yet, only 700 students are below the balcony.

Perhaps it falls to Eustachy to change the policy.

When Steve Alford came to Iowa two years ago, he demanded the students on the floor.

Suddenly, the university had no beef with it.

Today, Carver Hawkeye is slightly louder than a Megadeth concert in your bedroom.

But even more than Eustachy, I think it falls to the students to seek change.

Don’t complain about your crappy seat while you sit in it.

Complain to ISU Athletics Director Bruce Van de Velde or Tom Hill, vice president for Student Affairs.

And perhaps, when you do have a good seat, seek justice for those who don’t.

Throw up the sign my buddy Mike always brings to Hilton, slightly modified at the end: STAND OLD PEOPLE – AT HOME.

Hey, I don’t know if it’s “Hell No, We Won’t Go” time.

But if you’re seething, maybe it isn’t far off.

Paul Kix is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Hubbard.