The PLU sports teams would be better recognized if there was a scoreboard in the UC. Whether it is a simple whiteboard or an electronic slide show on a television screen, this would be a quick and easy way for students to become educated on the athletic accomplishments of their peers.
Currently the only way to keep track of your favorite sports is to actively search for it. The PLU website, The Mast, and The News Tribune are the main sources. Each of these is a time consuming process that the average student neglects. These sources also tend to focus sports like football and basketball. This leaves the other student-athletes such as tennis players and swimmers unexposed, even though they put in just as much time and effort to represent their school. The Tacoma News Tribune has a section of its website devoted to Lute sports here. This is a commodity that I, a fourth year senior who is particuarly interested in PLU athletics, just discovered. You’ll notice that all eleven articles on this first page are about football.
The Scoreboard would lists each sport, their record, the results of their previous match, and date location and time of their next. A slideshow format would work great for a computer. There would be one slide for each sport including club sports like lacrosse and ultimate. This may also include pictures of each sport.
The most traffic on the campus is at the University Center. Installing a scoreboard that states each team’s record, scores, and date of their next match would allow students instant access to this information. If this were presented to a school-wide audience, it would increase intrigue for those who weren’t looking for it before. This would likely increase attendance to sporting events. Even people who don’t care about the sports teams may glance at the scoreboard and retain information about their success.
A large percentage of students cannot even name all of the sports at PLU. While giving a speech on the golf team in my public speaking class, I asked my audience how many of them knew PLU had a golf team. Roughly 50% responded in the affirmative. For the amount of time and effort I have put into the team in order to represent the Lutes, I felt disrespected.
While discussing my concerns Michael Parretta, a former PLU tennis player, he agreed with my feelings. “I’ve only seen a handful of pictures anywhere on campus for any sport. There has to be a better way to be informed on what’s going on. We’re there to win for our school,” Michael said. He agreed that a form of quick and universal access to sports information would be beneficial. “I think a scoreboard would increase attendance. “Playing on a lesser known sport like tennis we never had the chance to play for an audience which I think would have been exhilarating.”
One of the main attractions for larger schools is their sports. Students at PLU spend more time watching the University of Washington Huskies play football and basketball than their own school teams. Upon a recent visit to the UW campus, I asked 20 students what their favorite thing about attended the school was. 12 of the 20 answers I received were related to sports. Answers like “going to footballs games,” and “being a part of the sports celebrations,” arose. I know it is tough to compare PLU with a Division I school of 40,000+ students, but it is that sense of pride that makes those large schools so special. There is always a buzz on game day, and just about everyone knows whether the team won or lost the previous day.
At PLU most students don’t even know what time the football teams kicks off or if they are home or away. An athletic pride atmosphere is lacking at PLU. A scoreboard would provide this knowledge to anyone in a matter of seconds. Students would know when to see their currently dominating men’s soccer team play, or where they can watch their women’s basketball team. Even students who would prefer to know nothing about sports can simply ignore the board. No matter how intricate the medium of the scoreboard is, it is sure to extend the recognition of the PLU student-athletes.