Renewing rivalry brings back hatred

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

Summit League officials visited Vermillion on Jan. 21 and 22 to take a look at the University of South Dakota and see if the Coyotes would be a good fit for the Summit League. I can’t say I like where this is heading.

It’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that USD will join the Summit League as officials only visited Vermillion out of the six or seven schools that were interested in joining. Over 180 meetings were held in the two days; I don’t think that many meetings would be held if the Summit League wasn’t taking an intense look at USD. The last time officials visited prospective schools, it was to SDSU, North Dakota State and IPFW, and we all know how that turned out – all three schools joined the conference.

Yes, if the Coyotes join the Summit League, it will renew one of the oldest rivalries in the country, but it will also lead to dead rabbits and coyotes being thrown onto the court and T-shirts with biting remarks on them. The rivalry is filled with so much hate it’s ridiculous. I’m guilty of being hateful to the school to the south just as much as the next guy. My dad is a graduate of SDSU, hates USD and made sure that my sister and I will do the same. My dad’s hatred for the U is so strong he told my sister there was a feeling of “pure evil” when a girl with a USD sweatshirt walked by them.

I haven’t been to a SDSU/USD game since I was little. I have the feeling it may be fun, but at the same time, why go through all of that when the rivalry that is budding with NDSU is full of respect? Can you grab a drink with USD fans after a game like you can with NDSU fans? I doubt it.

I remember talking to several NDSU fans after the football game in Fargo a couple of years ago. They were very respectful of what SDSU has been able to do since we announced we both were moving Division I. I don’t think that would have happened in Vermillion.

The one thing many people keep saying is that it will be good for the state of South Dakota. How? The attendance money from the games won’t go to the state; it will go to the two schools. Money will be spent in Brookings and Vermillion – probably Sioux Falls, as well – but how does that help the farmer in Bison? It doesn’t.

If the ‘Yotes were to join the Summit League, it would provide another well-attended home game at Frost Arena – of the games in the top 20 for attendance at Frost Arena, 14 were against USD – and the DakotaDome, but other than that, I don’t see the benefits it has for either school.

The basketball teams could meet next year if an agreement would be made. I don’t see it happening as USD may want the game to be in Sioux Falls or SDSU to make it a home-and-home agreement. The football teams can’t meet until 2013 as the Jacks have their schedules all but full through 2012.

When USD announced it was going to move to Division I last year, people immediately started asking, “When is SDSU going to play USD?” I still hope it’s a couple of years away. I, for one, can do without the hateful T-shirts and the dead-animal throwing.