Cal State Dominguez Hills is known for its diversity, large number of commuter students and, increasingly, strong athletic programs.
But, support for our student-athletes is sadly lacking.
We understand most of the student population works and attends classes, but we must all make time to show our Toro pride.
When was the last time you attended a women’s or men’s soccer match at Toro Stadium? The last time you caught a ball game at Toro Field? Cheered on our softball team at Toro Diamond? Witnessed a dribbling exhibition by the women’s or men’s basketball team at the Torodome?
This is not about Toro Tuesday, raffles, prizes or other giveaways. It’s about supporting our student-athletes and making the time to attend their sporting events.
In its 56-year history, CSUDH has witnessed 132 All-Americans, 32 CCAA championships, nine NCAA West Regional titles and four NCAA National titles.
With all its accolades and past success, the Toros fail to draw anywhere close to capacity in attendance. In their three major sports: soccer, basketball and baseball/softball, the Toros are lucky to draw 200-plus.
You can’t blame the students. They have their hands full with assignments, projects and preparing for tests, but our student athletes are representing CSUDH on and off the field.
The 2016 men’s soccer team hopes to duplicate last season’s success. Yet, in their home opener on Sept. 16 against conference rival Stanislaus State, only 127 people witnessed their 2-1 victory.
The game was on a Friday. Yet, most of those in attendance were family members of our student-athletes.
The women’s soccer team, despite surpassing last season’s win total of four games and being one of four teams that remain undefeated in the CCAA, average 147 spectators in four home games this season.
Toro Stadium seats 5,000 people; you do the math and calculate the Toro turnout.
The same can be said for our basketball programs. For the first time in the last four years, the 2015-16 women’s basketball team hosted a CCAA first round game against its archival Cal State L.A. A disappointing 525 people were in attendance. The Torodome seats 4,100.
The numbers go on and on. The 2016 baseball team, which was led by All-American and now Chicago White Sox minor league third baseman Brady Conlan, drew a crowd of 100-plus in seven of their 28 home games.
We may not be USC or UCLA, which have state of the art sports facilities, but our student-athletes are performing at a high level. We must show our support.
Our student-athletes have early practices, late practices, film sessions and as much classwork as a full-time student. Let’s attend and support our teams. Let’s change the culture at CSUDH.
Once a Toro, always a Toro. It’s time to start acting like it.