After almost three decades of death penalty induced irrelevance, the SMU Mustangs are seemingly all at once back on the national radar of college football: June Jones has the program skyrocketing through C-USA, including a defeat of their Iron Skillet rivals and defending Rose Bowl Champs TCU. But if there's a gray cloud still hovering around the reemergence of Mustang football, one player thinks its the lack of support from fans.
Stephen Nelson is a walk-on for SMU, and wrote a letter to the editor in this week's Daily Campus, the student newspaper, blasting the lack of student and fan support for the football time. Nelson specifically referenced fan apathy during last week's 31-17 SMU win over defending conference champ UCF:
Our coaches and my teammates have spent countless hours in the film room and meetings getting ready (not to mention bringing national attention and thousands of new applicants each year) and this is how our community thanks us?
Don't be surprised now when I say it's more fun for us to play on the ROAD than it is at home. At least the opposing team's fans show up, and the game experience resembles what I dreamed about rather than the pee-wee football experience we have here where it seems only the players' parents are in the stands.
If there's any defense for apathetic - or just ignorant - SMU football fans, it's that they haven't had this successful a team since any current undergraduates were actually alive.