Now two days following the James Madison Dukes’ demolition of the top-seeded Northeastern Huskies in the Colonial Athletic Association title game, many NU fans are still tweeting at me how “unfair” it was that JMU basically had a home game in on Monday night.
Multiple students have even approached me on campus and complained about the same. I’m here to tell all who feel that way: enough is enough.
And I’ll give you two reasons why.
First, the CAA Championship Tournament was held in Richmond for 23 straight years, with this past weekend’s competition being the final tourney held in Virginia before the event moves to Baltimore in 2014.
Thus, Northeastern, as well as the other non-Virginia CAA teams, has dealt with the Richmond Coliseum being the host of the tournament ever since joining the conference in 2005. That’s the conference tournament they signed up for when the accepted an offer to join the CAA.
Next, the championship game crowd being partisan to JMU is just as much the responsibility of Northeastern fans as it is Madison fans.
While the Dukes were able to send eight busloads of students the 129 miles from Harrisonburg, Va. to Richmond on Monday afternoon while Northeastern could not have done so being 549 miles away, the students at Northeastern don’t whole-heartedly support the school’s basketball team in the first place.
And that’s really a shame.
Head coach Bill Coen has done an excellent job recruiting over the past few years and as a result, his team will likely contend for a CAA title over the next several seasons. But, regardless, students on the school’s Boston campus stubbornly view the Husky as a mascot that solely represents a hockey team, despite the men’s basketball team’s 14-4 CAA record that came after a 12-1 start in conference play.
The university offered a very cheap student package for Northeasterners to journey down from Boston to Richmond for the weekend festivities. When that initial sale did not receive much interest, the Athletics Department and marketing team even offered free transportation, hotel and game tickets, and barely any students responded.
So, Northeastern “fans”, who wouldn’t give up three days out of their spring break for a free trip to watch their No. 1 seed Huskies fight for an NCAA Tournament bid, save your breath and don’t complain about the 5,500 to 200 JMU to Northeastern fan ratio in the Coliseum on Monday.
Look in the mirror.