CCU president asks Chanticleer fans to have fun, be respectful at Brooks Stadium
CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina University has asked Chanticleer football fans to tone things down off the field as the team continues to see success on it.
The Chants notched their eighth win of the season last Thursday against rival Appalachian State in a nationally-televised, record-setting sellout at Brooks Stadium. The victory even came complete with fans rushing the teal turf as time expired.
However, the game on the field wasn’t the only thing catching people’s attention.
In a message published earlier this week, CCU President Michael Benson called the atmosphere “electric” but also directly addressed some concerns such as profane chants being distinctly heard on the broadcast.
“There were, however, some areas where we fell embarrassingly short of the standards to which we hold ourselves as a university community,” the letter stated. “I’ve received dozens of messages from people all over the country questioning why visiting fans were treated so poorly.”
Benson sat down with WMBF News on Thursday to talk more about the environment the school wants to create at Brooks Stadium.
“We want everyone to come and have a great time,” he said. “I don’t want people to think I’m against fun. I love college football as much as anybody, but you can do it within, I believe, the parameters where our fans support themselves well and they show respect.”
Now in its 20th season, Coastal’s football program has drawn in more fans thanks to the Chants’ recent run of success and bowl game appearances.
“You think when we started football in 2002 and how far we’ve come to not only the campus growing; but our fan engagement, our community support, students coming to the game and staying for the entire game,” said Benson.
With a relatively younger football program, the university is still working on the best way to execute game days. Benson said there are already plans to enhance the fan experience next season.
“We’ll have some activities in-game,” he said. “Maybe a different atmosphere with electronic devices and lights and in-game activities that will really improve the game day atmosphere even more.”
Benson also touched on fans rushing the field after the game, which resulted in a number of injuries.
“That’s a big drop from the top of the wall down to the field and I love seeing our kids so excited,” he said. “Our students are so excited. Be careful. Some were injured. Some conferences whether it’s the SEC or Big 10 have policies about fining Universities if they don’t maintain a safe environment post-game. The Sun Belt hasn’t communicated anything to us. So as long as the students get down and get down safely and get on the field, I anticipate we’ll continue to see that happen.”
The Chanticleers host Southern Mississippi on Saturday in the team’s final regular season home game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
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