Dear Clemson Athletics,

All I can say is why? How can you ask us to add more to the over $40,000 in tuition and fees that we already contribute to the university? I am aware that none of that goes towards athletics, but the $60.1 million record setting year for donations to IPTAY in 2014-2015 does. I can only imagine that these totals will be greater this year, since the team made it to the National Championship. The fees you will be raising from the students will only total $1.8 million, which is a drop in the bucket for the overall program, but a noticeable chunk out of student’s individual pockets.

There are a few factors to why Clemson student’s are so outraged over this, besides the thought of shelling out more money when you will still have to fight for a seat in the over crowded stands anyway. First of all, this news came out at the same time as the announcement about Dabo’s contract extension. Now trust me, I love Dabo and what he has done for the program, but it was awful timing and is just adding fuel to the fire. I would love to know his opinion about charging students to come to his games. I would almost guarantee he is not pleased either, since he is one of the most generous men out there. Easily the greatest problem is the new player facilities being built. This $55 million dollar extravagant facility will be available for use to less than .7% or .007 of the undergraduate student body. The 99.3% of the university now has either the option to not go to games, sit in the nosebleeds, or help fund a playground we don’t get to touch. Before asking students for the $225 each, why not downsize the replica of the hill inside the building, the laser tag course, sand volleyball pit, barbershop, mini golf course or movie theater first. The incredible athletes that have been apart of the program are here because of the team’s wins, coaching staff and atmosphere, not because they can hang out in a resort between classes.

Clemson was voted #1 for students pack the stadium in 2015. You better kiss that ranking good bye for next year. This was all certainly noticed this past football season. Students were getting turned down at the gate even with tickets because the sections were overflowing. We filled the stairs, in between rows, and every space we possibly could to see OUR tigers play. We had an overwhelming presence at the ACC Championship, Orange Bowl, and College Football Playoff National Championship all the way in Glendale, Arizona 1981 miles from the university. Students were there rain or shine (mostly rain) and this is how we are rewarded?

You say that these fees are not mandatory, but have you really thought about that statement? Clemson football is a huge reason why many students choose to attend the university. Some have grown up coming to the games since they were days old. They have memories of cheering on the tigers in mini jerseys and cheerleading uniforms. They have dreamed of the day they got to be on the hill or in the student’s section. And now you are trying to take that away. You will so generously leave the upper deck seats free, but have you ever climbed up the stairs on a hot August day to sit 3 rows from the top, where you have to watch the video boards because you can’t read the player’s numbers Mr. Radakovich? Have you ever been up there in the pouring rain with nothing to block you from the wind still cheering your heart out because the team is about to beat Notre Dame? The answer is most definitely no. If we want the full experience of being a Clemson University Tiger, you have to pay.

Now I have some questions for you about this “flawless” plan. If you implement it, how do you limit the number of students who are paying so you ensure that each of them will have the seat they have purchased? Will you still give priority to upper classmen or will it be a free for all? We have learned that general admission tickets do not work well, so how will you guarantee we can sit with out friends? What about Central Spirit? The hill was not mention, what will be the fee there? Will the money charged go into our IPTAY points and status upon graduation or will it all be a waste? How will you prevent students from reselling their tickets at a higher price? Will the tickets the players receive each game cost anything or do their families, many of whom are not paying anything in tuition to the university, still be free?

I hope that you think about the impact of this plan in all aspects. Clemson is a university and family that is deeply routed in tradition and we do not like changes, especially when it comes to our beloved football. Please consider the noticeable divide that you will be putting into the student body and think of us without dollar signs in your eyes. Don’t forget, putting a bad taste in out mouths now will result in less dollars donated in the future when we actually have money to spare.


The Clemson Student Body



If you would like to sign the petition in support of keeping tickets free, click here




thumbnail credit