<strong>LOGAN—</strong> Known as one of the toughest places in the country to play, the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum has come under fire recently from fans, alumni, and even players, for a lack of intensity dating back to last season.
There has yet to be one sellout during the 2012-13 season, despite the fact that Utah State is off to the third best start in school history at 13-1, and the less than stellar showing by the USU student section known as the HURD is a big part of that.
For that reason – among others – the HURD is helping to promote a “Beard Out” for Friday’s game against San Jose State.
“We’re trying to get the Spectrum back to what it was. It has sort of gone down a little bit with last year’s poor results and all of the other issues. We’re trying to create an atmosphere where students feel like this is awesome, this is cool,” ASUSU Athletics Vice President Karson Kalian said.
“Everybody has done the ‘Blue Out’, everybody has done the ‘White Out,’ and we think that a ‘Beard Out’ is unique enough that it’s going to catch people’s eyes and it’s going to be wacky and kooky enough that it’s going to be funny.”
The idea was first pitched on the Utah State fan message board, <a href=”http://www.usufans.com/” target=”_blank”>USUfans.com</a>, and quickly picked up steam from there. The idea was generated following the Aggies victory over Idaho last week, when junior guard Preston Medlin connected on a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game and send it to overtime.
It is the second time this season that Medlin, the Preseason WAC Player of the Year, has hit a last-second 3-pointer to force overtime. The Aggies have won both games. Medlin sports – you guessed it – a beard, and following his latest heroics, a “Fear the Beard” campaign was born.
“It all started with one of my friends from the message boards, Matt Nelson. He talked with Preston after the Idaho game, and that’s when those two got the idea for the ‘Beard Out,’” Kalian said. “Matt went online and posted about the ‘Beard Out’, and everybody on the message board sort of just went crazy over it, and thought it was a good idea. Seeing the response that got … we’re going to take it and run with it.”
And run with it the HURD has.
Kalian said the HURD has been promoting the “Beard Out” through social media all week, as well as putting signs around the USU Student Center, and other buildings on campus. He also said the group has sent out mass emails to students, and has been working with USU housing to try and spread the word as well.
“People love it. A lot of them are mad that we didn’t do it back in November, with ‘No-Shave November’ and stuff like that, but it’s sporadic. The idea just came and we want to do it now, but students are loving it,” Kalian said. “We have a lot of people making beards, a lot of people not shaving for the week, and it’s going to be interesting to see what shows up on Friday.”
The Aggies take on the Spartans at 7 p.m. in their only game of the week. With the “Beard Out,” the excitement from Medlin’s thrilling shot against Idaho, and a full contingency of students back for the spring semester, Killian said he is expecting the biggest student turnout of the season.