Spirits, appetites high at basketball pep rally

Prior to Wednesday night’s women’s basketball game at the Convocation Center, all UM students in attendance were invited to a tailgate inside the Hurricane 100 room where free food and drinks were available. The tailgate, sponsored by Hurricane Force, looked to boost student attendance at women’s basketball games, which has been lacking this season despite the teams’ best start in school history.

“Our students haven’t found this place [the Convocation Center]yet,” President Donna E. Shalala explained. “Once they find the place and see how much fun it can be when they are all here, the students will come.”

The Hurricane 100 room, located beneath the student section and usually used for commencement ceremonies or by donors and trustees for meetings, took on a more spirited role in accommodating not only students but also cheerleaders, Sebastian the Ibis and even Hurricane Frank.

Head coach Fern Labati was also a part of the festivities, giving students an enthusiastic pep talk about their role in supporting the team.

“I want you to know it’s not about the game tonight – it is about the future of what we can achieve here for the Miami Hurricanes. We need your support in the stands,” she said.

The tailgate produced, by far, the largest student turnout at a women’s basketball game this season and may have served its purpose in trying to drive students to attend future games.

Tom Falconer, who has attended several men’s games but had not attended a women’s game before Wednesday night, said the tailgate was a success and helped him become aware that the team is among the best in the nation.

“I know I’m jumping on the bandwagon, but I’ll start attending games now,” he said.

Others felt the tailgate was just a starting point and it would be interesting to see if the attendance could be kept up.

“This is a good starting point, but it’s just a starting point and you have to figure out where you go from here,” Kim Walker said.

Shalala also invited former ticket-holders of the now extinct Miami Sol to the tailgate in order to make the event even more pronounced. She also made it very clear why the Convocation Center was built.

“We built the Convocation Center on campus for the students. The Convocation Center belongs to the students, and tonight we will make that very clear,” Shalala said.

Paul Fajardo can be contacted at

January 30, 2004


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.