Duke’s down a few hundred Crazies in its student section

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source: AP

There are fewer Crazies out there than usual. At least at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke’s famed student section – Remember this guy? Or these chants? – once packed Section 17 at the arena with 1,200 fans, eager to taunt, heckle, cheer and essentially do everything they could to give the Blue Devils one of the game’s greatest home-court advantages.

But that’s harder to do when that section has half as many students as normal.

According to a story from the Duke Chronicle, about 650 undergraduates have attended each game, the lowest figure yet in steadily declining student attendance at home games.

The school’s selling more general admission tickets in an attempt to fill that section, at $65 a pop. They haven’t been sold to the general public yet (other donators and season ticket holders get first dibs), but it could happen.

Co-head line monitor Ellie Garrett told the paper that being a Crazie is plenty of work – waiting outside for tickets, standing and jumping up and down throughout the game – but that it’s worth it. Also, getting into the section isn’t as hard as one might think.

“The rumor we’ve had to deal with over the past couple years is that it’s hard to get into games, and if you show up half an hour before tipoff you won’t get in,” Garrett told the paper. “We’ve been trying really hard… to really debunk those rumors because they’re simply not true.”

It’s also not a new trend. This story from 2007 detailed how the school set up a new ticketing system that’s still used. But the hassle worry seems to have lingered.

Those hassle concerns might have merit. It’s far easier to watch a game on TV or online (when isn’t Duke on TV?) and the lame home schedule (Colorado State and Belmont were the top draws) makes the final product a little … meh.

Besides, Duke’s hardly alone in having a boisterous, active student sections are plentiful around the country, taking away the uniqueness of the Crazies.

But the bottom line is Cameron’s still full of fans, still loud and still an incredibly difficult place for opponents to win. And I’m sure those 600 students make themselves known.

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