This basketball season, Baylor students better be prepared to lose their voices from excessive cheering, paint their bodies green and gold. And earn some camera time at the men’s and women’s basketball games at the Ferrell Center.
The sections behind the baskets, typically reserved for members of the Bear Pit, will be open to all students on a first-come, first-served basis.
This year, you do not have to pay for the floor seats. You can, however, buy a five dollar t-shirt, but that is the extent of the Bear Pit.
In the past, the students not involved with the Bear Pit would be forced to sit in the upper corner section of the Ferrell Center.
“The idea of keeping the Bear Pit alive is understandable because it’s been going on for a while,” said senior Rachel Armstrong, a previous Bear Pit member “But I think it would be a great choice to open that up to anyone in the student body who wants to be closer to the action, no matter if they are part of the club or not. First come, first serve ensures that those students who really want those seats will be the ones filling them.”
The Bear Pit was organized in 2005 to promote school spirit during the basketball games. The membership fee included reserved seats, pizza and drinks at each home game and referee-style black and gold striped jerseys.
Last year’s Bear Pit president Benjamin Friedman, said the organization’s seats are well earned and that he would hope all students embody the same level of passion that the Bear Pit does.
The Bear Pit would typically stand all game while yelling and distracting Baylor’s opponent with feisty cheers. The Bear Pit also put on pep rallies before big games.
“If people get rid of the Bear Pit, I hope they get rid of it because it becomes too big to manage,” Friedman said.
The bill passed by Baylor Senate last semester recommended that anyone in the student body should be privy to those court seats. After last season’s excitement with the men’s trip to the Elite Eight and the Lady Bears unprecedented 40-0 season, fans have something to be proud of and want to relive that thrill.
“I think more fans should come out and support, but for those who are there, we love it,” Baylor basketball senior guard AJ Walton said. “The fan support always makes us feel loved and appreciated.”
By Lindsey Miner
This year will be a trial year to see how the student body, as an unorganized section, fills in the gaps of the Bear Pit. With the advantage of getting prime seats, the most enthusiastic basketball fans will get the chance to be close to the action, cheering on both the men’s and women’s teams.
“I do like having the option of better seats,” junior Thomas Leathers said. “I feel like the people who do wear those jerseys are die-hards and would show up first to get those seats.”
College basketball begins across the nation Nov. 9. The Ferrell Center will host a double-header with the defending national champions, No. 1 Baylor Lady Bears, against Lamar at noon and the No. 18 Bears against Lehigh at 4 p.m. Both games will air on Fox Sports.