Fan Apathy Has Official Overtaken Vanderbilt Athletics

As my dear ole Granny would say, "the chickens have finally come home to roost."
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The response from fans of Vanderbilt athletics on Friday following the announcement that there would be no fans allowed to attend Commodore football at Vanderbilt Stadium in 2020 was almost predictable. 

Fan apathy has been a growing trend on social media, but it reached a new level in the wake of this announcement. Fans who have followed me personally, and been very active in their support and regularly comment on all things Commodore seem to be pulling the plug on Vanderbilt athletics.    

It's taken some 40 years to get here, but they have finally arrived. 

Congratulations Vanderbilt. 

Apathy is now a hashtag. 

 It might not be trending worldwide or even nationally, but it was seen multiple times during this discussion.

Only at Vanderbilt! 

This was a sentiment shared by many fans who all shared their displeasure and intentions to not return to Vanderbilt games in the future. 

In fairness to those who made this decision inside the walls of Kirkland Hall or McGugin Center, they were likely forced into it, at least early on in the season by Metro Nashville and the restrictions the city is forcing on the population.  

For reference, the Tennessee Titans, who share the city of Nashville with the Commodores, are prohibited from any fans attending their home opener in September. 

Logic dictates that the Commodores were hit with the same restriction. Nothing they could do about it, and so that's not on anyone on West End. 

However, when it comes to the Titans, they are waiting for word on the possible lessening of restrictions that will allow them to have at least some fans in the stadium for their October home contests. 

Not so for Vanderbilt. They pulled the plug on the whole deal, and this decision looks to be squarely on the heads of the leadership at Vanderbilt. 

They could have waited here but chose to move forward. 

Some fans were ok with the move, citing the fact that visiting fanbases like LSU and Tennessee who are scheduled to visit this season won't be afforded a fan advantage at Vanderbilt Stadium when none of their fans can get in either. 

The fact that anyone might even consider that as a positive speaks volumes about this fanbase and more so Vanderbilt and what has gone on for the last 40 years that has left fans with this level of apathy.   

"I'm done said one former Vanderbilt football player we spoke with who spoke under the condition of anonymity. "I will always support the athletes and want them to win and succeed, but unless and until there are drastic changes in how this university and athletic department treat fans and support the athletes with better facilities, I won't be spending a single, solitary dime on anything. That includes the season tickets I've had since I graduated." 

While the current university president and athletic director are new to their positions, and they did not create this level of discord, the university they now represent has with years of failures to do what was necessary to improve facilities and show fans and donors that the university cared about those people. 

This administration has some work to do to rebuild the relationships their predecessors have damaged or destroyed, and it won't be an easy task, but it now must be done. 

Perhaps a good place to start would be releasing the details of these master facilities upgrade plans we have been hearing about since I began covering this program last season and even before that for fans. 

It might not fix everything, but showing some commitment to needed improvements and giving fans something to hold the university accountable for would be a big step. It might be the only step. 

Apathy and disgust are this bad, and it's Vanderbilt's fault. 

 Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven.