For the last nine minutes of my last Rice men’s basketball game, I watched through the glass doors of Tudor Fieldhouse. Why? Because I got ejected for “my behavior,” according to security working at the game. In other words, I got ejected for heckling despite using clean language the whole time.
Did I want to get ejected? No. Do I regret anything I said or did? Absolutely not.
After the game, one of the Louisiana Tech University coaches spoke to me. He gave me a handshake and told me I did a great job. He said for the past two years I have made his players laugh on the bench and have gotten in their heads. As a heckler, that is my goal. I want to try and make the opposing players lose focus on the game while only using CLEAN language.
No doubt things got chippy in Tudor on Saturday night, but why did I become the scapegoat? Why did I get ejected while the players who are telling me to “f--- off” were able to continue to play?
I have been a huge fan of the basketball team during coach Rhoades’ tenure, and tonight was not the ending I imagined. I was heartbroken I wasn’t able to sing the alma mater one last time with my fellow Rice students and high-five Coach Rhoades and the student-athletes after that important victory.
But what does my ejection say for the future of the Rice student section? The goal of a student section is to create a home-court advantage. The goal of a student section is to get underneath the skin of the opposing players. The goal of a student section is to rejoice together in the thrill of victory.
Saturday, I was unable to rejoice in that thrill.
I want to make sure that my ejection doesn’t go unnoticed. I want to make sure that as this program continues to rise on the court, the student section continues to rise with it. I want to make sure that students know they can heckle in a clean manner without being ejected.
I want to make sure that no student has to watch their last few minutes of Rice basketball through a glass door.