Saturday, February 24th, 2018

110 for 10: Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer promises donation to Starkville community in exchange for breaking attendance record

Published on January 28, 2018

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Mississippi State's Victoria Vivians. Photo: Mississippi State Athletics.

Mississippi State’s Victoria Vivians. Photo: Mississippi State Athletics.

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Since sliding into the top 25 national polls in 2015, Mississippi State has been at its best. Head coach Vic Schaefer continues to build trust, respect and gratitude from Mississippians, most of which comes from MSU’s hometown fan base, the Starkvillians.

Starkville is a place where family reigns supreme and southern hospitality superb. It is a vibrant college town filled with die-hard fans that support Mississippi State. Schaefer and MSU women’s basketball are getting a taste of local loyalty as they create a winning atmosphere that provides fans with pride and joy. The team continues to knock down opponents, break program records and make the Mississippi State Bulldogs a nationally-recognized name.

This year marks the final year for several Bulldogs who helped Schaefer build the success of the program. Blair Schaefer, Victoria Vivians, Roshunda Johnson and Morgan William will hang up their maroon and white jerseys for the final time at The Hump on February 22, their last regular season game, a matchup against the Auburn Tigers. Though they are the projected hosts for the first round of the NCAA tournament, Schaefer wants to keep a fiery fan presence through their last few games.

“These kids deserve 10,000 a night in The Hump,” Schaefer said about his players. “Victoria Vivians is the all-time scorer in high school girl’s basketball. These four seniors, our whole team, deserve 10,000 every night. They’re fun to watch and they’re good enough.”

Schaefer has made a promise to his beloved fan base and community. If they can pack The Hump for the four remaining games to reach 110,000 fans attendance in one year, to break their current record of 92,000, he will give the Starkville Boys and Girls’ Club a generous donation of $10,000.

“They’re very special to me and they do a great job in our community getting these kids prepared for the real world,” Schaefer said on the non-profit organization’s impact. “It’s a place near and dear to my heart. So, I’m going to invest that if we can get to 110,000.”

After hosting Florida, The Hump attendance currently sits at 74,093. Crunching the numbers, Mississippi State fans will need to fill 25,407 seats in The Hump to reach the 110,000 goal.

Only four games remain at home, including a contest against the 2017 national champions, South Carolina, on February 5. That game is already sold out, so Schaefer can secure 10,500 attendees for that Monday night showdown. For the remaining games, The Hump needs to average approximately 8,464 in attendance to reach the goal.

“The next game we’ll have it,” Schaefer said on their upcoming game. “I want the three after that [sold out]. We can average 5,000 a night and break the record, but I don’t want that.”

Mississippi State will take on their rival Ole Miss on the road in Oxford on Sunday, Jan. 28. Instead of fans having driving themselves, the athletic department is providing buses to help them travel together to Ole Miss, just like a real family would.

“My kids know last year, [at The Pavilion], it was maroon,” Schaefer commented on the loyal fan base. “It was special. I think our kids understand that I don’t want to lay an egg. We need to reward those people who are going and supporting us.”

The goal is realistic, and the fans are there. If the 110,000-attendance goal is reached, it will solidify Schaefer’s career and impact on the community. He would be leaving his stamp on the Mississippi State community and the upcoming generation, showing them, it will always be more than just basketball.

“It’s invest in both,” Schaefer said. “And I think it’s a great investment.”

This post is part of the thread: 2017-18 College Season – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


 

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