Use of wristbands at College GameDay unfavored

It’s not every season that ESPN’s College GameDay comes to your university to broadcast a show. Having a basketball program ranked among the top 15 teams in the nation’s standings calls for an invitation from ESPN, especially amid a match up between the No. 11 and No. 10 ranked teams.

So how did ESPN come to find the shockers in the wheat state? ESPN contacted Wichita State’s Athletic Department to coordinate the live broadcast.

“Once we were selected, we worked hand-in-hand in terms of power and, of course, promotional opportunities,” said John Brewer, Assistant Director of Marketing and Corporate Relations.

 With ESPN in town, one would anticipate the immense crowd that followed.

Shocker Maniacs coordinator, Caroline King, said ESPN told the Athletic Department exactly what to do. Koch arena was just simply the venue.  

King organized the plan of utilizing wristbands to re-enter the arena after College GameDay through Shocker Maniacs.

The plan was for students to attended the women’s basketball game on Friday night and receive wristbands to be worn the next day that indicated a number. This number gave students a guaranteed spot in the line numerically. They were then able to be first at the door for College GameDay and when the crowds re-entered afterward.

More than 200 students showed up to the women’s game that night, where the women played for their conference championship against Drake.

The next day however, as students filed out of Koch Arena to re-enter, complaints swirled of students being denied the access they were promised.

Sophomore Micah Harder was No. 22 in line and says his spot in line was not honored. “GameDay was better organized than the actual game,” he said. “Basically a whole bunch of people cut us.”

Harder said he and others protested to security about the ordeal, but were yelled at.

“Getting in was easy but getting out and back in wasn’t handled well,” freshman Susanne Webb said.

However, Brewer said security moved students into a holding area inside the facility before actually moving students into the arena.

“We had all of our people in order to make sure people did not slide up through the lines,” Brewer said. “We were consistent in our processes and we communicated very clearly in terms of receiving a wristband and utilizing that wristband to gain access to the building Saturday morning.”