By most accounts, Josh Brooks is a good guy doing a good job, but this comes off sounding pretty lame:
In order to accommodate the extra number of fans, UGA used 500 seats in the West End Zone student section to accommodate Notre Dame visitors sitting in the designated visitors’ section. In addition, UGA installed temporary aluminum bleachers in the West End Plaza underneath the scoreboard behind student sections 139-143 to accommodate the overflow from the West End Zone student section.
In an interview on Sept. 24, Deputy Athletic Director for Operations Josh Brooks addressed issues raised by students. In reference to staff members sending students to section 600, Brooks said that was a “huge miscommunication” and students would normally never be placed there.
“I’d like it to be known that we care and we listen,” Brooks said. “We failed, we had people who didn’t get the experience they wanted, but I do want people to know we genuinely care about their experience.”
For one, Brooks claimed his folks were ready to handle the added demands the Notre Dame game presented.
In an email ahead of the game, Brooks had said stadium staff were “prepared for all scenarios.”
“We are bringing in additional staffing to assist with security, ingress, keeping campus clean, etc.,” Brooks said.
For another, other than a meaningless apology, exactly how can you show you care about something like this experience?
By the instruction of stadium staff, Jae Choi, senior biological science major, said she and her friends were directed to sit in section 306 but were later removed by people who had paper tickets in that section. They were then told to relocate to section 600, a predominantly Notre Dame fan area. Choi claims the fans verbally attacked her and her friends and told the students “show us your tickets or leave now.”
“We were sick of all the harassment and being tossed here and there, we couldn’t even stand to watch the game. We ended up being forced to leave [by the police],” Choi said.
As the group of seniors left the stadium, Choi said they saw multiple students tearfully arguing with staff members. This prompted Choi’s friend to “burst out bawling,” after wishing to be a part of “one last, huge game” his senior year.
Tickets are sold. Seats are taken. Kids are graduating. There won’t be another oversold game like last Saturday night in the foreseeable future. So it’s essentially impossible to take concrete action to make up for the bad taste Choi and her group have in their mouths. Nor will there be a future setting in which Brooks can demonstrate that B-M has learned its lesson.
Again, a textbook case on how not to build future good will — and it comes from one of the better folks in the department. I’ve stopped being amazed at how bad these people are at doing the whole fan friendly thing. The difference between me and McGarity is that he never was amazed about it in the first place.