OPINION | Dawg Pound represents Butler both in Hinkle and around the nation

Photo by Rachel Senn

The immature actions of the Dawg Pound deteriorates the value of the “Butler Way;” but the good they do off the court gives me hope that they can turn it around in time for the post season.

The Dawg Pound is one of the most underappreciated groups on campus. On a national stage they represent Butler University. Everyone knows how good the basketball program is, but a lot of schools have good teams with contradictory student bodies.

A lot of the cheers are dumb and ironically offend other teams as well as our own. For example we insult a player from Australia when we have a native of Australia on our team. Although Xavier fans traveled well from my seat in the middle rows the game felt like it was at a neutral site.

I hope that the Dawg Pound stays passionate but does not stoop to the level to where not only do opposing players flip them the bird but the rest of society who interacts with the Dawg Pound doesn’t either.

This group does many things that go unnoticed and unappreciated. The most impactful thing they have done was support “Coaches v.s. Cancer” by buying shirts with the proceeds supporting cancer research.

This hit home because the women’s basketball coach, Beth Couture underwent a previous battle with cancer.

The conscious effort to support the women’s basketball team, who has a much smaller fan base, is another good deed that shows a better side of the Dawg Pound.

The group that began 10 years  ago as a way to boost attendance at games has blossomed into something much bigger.

Although the 950 members is a fraction of the student population, they represent Butler on a larger scale. The activities they do and the way they conduct themselves portrays the school in a positive or negative light.

This is just one example of how the Dawg Pound spreads the “Butler Way.” With the success of our basketball team the Dawg Pound is Butler’s best promotional tool. When the team travels Butler is judged on the way its fans conduct themselves.

Most tournament games are on national TV so the only thing the rest of the country knows about Butler students is what they see out of the Dawg Pound.

In Butler’s last two NCAA tournament appearances, Butler fans impressed opponents and host city residents with courtesy and respect.

With the postseason tournaments approaching, whether it is the NCAA tournament or one less prestigious, the Dawg Pound must mature up and realize they are the face of Butler and must show the country the “Butler Way.”

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4 Comments

  1. Mike Staniewicz said:

    Terrible article. If you are going to call the organization out or being immature at least interview the people accused. Also call out their specific “immature” actions which cast the university in a negative light. If their “immature” actions include trash talking and making Hinkle a hard place to play in, let alone win in for Butler’s opponents, I’m not opposed to it. I don’t know what’s wrong in today’s society where it is frowned on to create a competitive environment through trash talking. The greatest who ever played the game were known to be some of the biggest trash talkers of all time: MJ, Bird, Miller, Magic, etc.

  2. Brett Lancaster said:

    I believe this article challenges The Dawg Pound more than calls them out. In response to Mike’s previous comment, I believe there are plenty of way to make Hinkle a tough and intimidating place to play without being complete morons which is the image I believe the Dawg Pound often portrays to the rest of the campus, league, and nation. Also, this is the “Opinion” of the author and Rhyan Henson has no reason to “interview the people accused” because their actions have already spoken loud enough. While I applaud The Dawg Pound’s philanthropic efforts, the average Dawg Pound member is not concerned with things like “Coaches vs. Cancer” but rather having court-side seats to Butler Basketball. The good intentions of a few good executives and officers are often and easily outweighed by the actions of their group. I believe this article challenges The Dawg Pound to use the eduction they are receiving and rise above precedents that may have been set by other fan sections and find ways to support all Butler athletic teams without being “immature”.

  3. KV said:

    In an article about Michigan State football that was written last year the defensive coordinator was quoted, “I am on him so bad, ‘You are the worst I’ve ever seen'” because it is the “type of atmosphere that [the] Michigan coach… is trying to foster…”
    Dawg Pound’s job is to cheer on our team, not pat the other team on the back as they leave Hinkle.
    One of the comments says, “the average Dawg Pound member is not concerned with things like “Coaches vs. Cancer” but rather having court-side seats…” That’s a pretty bold statement. I’m a DP member and my sister is currently battling stage 4 cancer so the fact that somebody else is willing to judge approximately 950 BU students by the actions of SOME DP members is quite lame- talk about using an education to rise above. Secondly, on this statement, of course we like court-side seats. Given an opportunity, why wouldn’t you want to sit there?

    • Brett Lancaster said:

      KV,

      No one ever said anything about “patting opponents back as they leave Hinkle”. I believe that Hinkle can be as loud, intimidating, and difficult to compete in as any other comparable arena in the nation without sacrificing our university’s image and motto of “The Butler Way”. The Dawg Pound’s website has the main image as a breakdown of “The Butler Way” and what it incorporates. Seems pretty hypocritical to preach that and then forget it during athletic events.

      As for your sister’s situation, I am sorry to hear that and only wish the best for her. My comment concerning “Coaches vs. Cancer” was simply to illustrate that THE MAJORITY of Dawg Pound members, as well as members of the Butler Community, are not or were not aware that the Dawg Pound even had a connection to anything beyond cheering for Butler athletics. I am not trying to judge individual motives for joining Dawg Pound but rather make a statement on the group’s image as a whole. I’m sure you can find individuals with different situations like yourself but if you notice in my previous comment I specifically referred to “the average Dawg Pound member”.

      To your last point, I consider myself as big a fan of Butler athletics and Butler basketball as any student in Dawg Pound. And yes I would love to sit court-side at Butler games but I made the decision to not join Dawg Pound because I did not want to be associated with a group that I, and other members of the Butler community, view as obnoxious and immature. My personal view and “opinion”.

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