Coping with changes on and off the court

Emily Price is a junior psychology major. She is a staff writer for the Newswire from Miamisburg, Ohio.

The Xavier community and many basketball enthusiasts are especially tuned in to Xavier’s basketball team this season. There was heartbreak last year as a struggling team fought incredibly hard to get a chance and, after coming so close, was just short of a trip to the NCAA tournament. This year, however, the attitude has changed to one of hope.

Although some recent losses have supportive feelings waning, the overall rejuvenated team with many notable and new faces, as well as several experienced and talented returns, shows promise. With this renewed attitude, some believe it to be a time for change. Namely, this can be seen through changes made by the athletic department at basketball games.

Many students have recognized the changes, with some complaints, but most are simply curious why all the changes have been introduced. The main visible changes at the games are below:

1) A visible DJ, DJ Bandcamp, has been introduced to the eastern side of the student section. DJ Bandcamp can also be found DJing for the Indiana Pacers, Purdue University’s football team and other noteworthy events such as the University of Cincinnati’s homecoming and the 31st Annual Celebrity Softball Classic.

2) Xavier’s pep band does not play the fight song as the team reenters before lineups. Traditionally, the band plays the fight song each time the team runs on or off the court — before warmups, before lineups, at halftime, before second half and at the final buzzer. However, the band no longer plays the fight song as the team runs onto the court before lineups. Instead, DJ Bandcamp plays a song.

3) Finally, a tradition affectionately called “tip-off drums” by the student section has also been replaced by music. In past years, the band director would choreograph the band to play at first slow, but then accelerating, drum beat as the two basketball teams on the court prepare to tip-off the ball to start the game.

These changes at basketball games emulate the changes happening elsewhere on Xavier’s campus regarding food options (e.g., the diner and deli replacing Subway, Blue Gibbon and Ryan’s Pub in the basement of Gallagher) and the closing of O’Connor Sports Center for the Health United Building, or HUB.

Xavier’s athletic department — one of acclaim and prestige among Division I colleges — has not made any comments on these changes, other than to introduce DJ Bandcamp. The changes themselves have caused some frustration. One tradition, tip-off drums, which served to excite the student section and enhance the Cintas experience as a whole, has been removed and replaced with simple music, which is wonderful and great to engage people throughout the rest of the game, but the student section and pep band are both feeling some loss of intensity in Cintas with this change.

Additionally, the prerecorded music replacing the fight song before lineups diminishes the lack of exciting buildup to double. Although these changes are causing their own discontent, the lack of communication from athletics to the students and band about these changes is also disheartening.

It is extremely refreshing to be part of a college community that strives to continuously change and improve. It is also understandable that with refreshed attention on the Xavier basketball team, athletics seeks to change some of the ways we celebrate the team at their games.

Although each change is not inherently bad, such as the wonderfully talented and fun DJ that we have at home games, they are changing how people get excited for the games, and not everyone is on board. That is to say, not all changes are good changes, and the students, fans and pep band members are certainly feeling frustrated with these specific changes being made.

Despite all of these changes and other negative feelings each of us may have about the team at the moment, it is important to remember to support the team. It is the support of the students and fans that can make or break that special feeling in Cintas, so we must be encouraging and positive whenever possible.