The Swamp has become a victim of the law of unintended consequences. Students aren’t showing up, and there’s a big reason why.
One thing UF officials have learned from student feedback is the students do not like the early kickoffs (noon and 12:20), something that was evident last season with all those empty seats in the student section for early games.
“Our students in some ways are a lot like our entire fan base in that they enjoy night games,” Hill said. “That Arkansas game (at night) last year had a tremendous crowd. Our students do not care for the early kickoffs. They’re just rolling out of bed.”
Hill said UF is having discussions with the SEC and its television partners about scheduling Gator games later in the day or at night, especially early in the season.
“We have made it clear to the conference that the early season games, we need those to begin in the evening or late in the day. The heat is so oppressive,” Hill said. “That’s not just for our students but our entire fan base.
“We’re communicating that to our television partners as well. If we can come out of the gate with later kickoffs, we think that will contribute to bigger crowds and better attended games by our students.”
Your television partners would like to know if you’ve been cashing their checks, dude. If you have, perhaps you should communicate to Jeremy Foley that winning four games and playing a weak home schedule isn’t the kind of formula that gets you a lot of 3:30 start times.
Then again, you could always try playing more loud recorded music at games. If nothing else, that might help wake the students.