As a smaller university in the state of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University’s athletics aren’t as widely known or as followed as those of the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. A lot of students that attend EKU are from Kentucky and either grew up as a UK or UofL fan. So, students should be allowed to wear the apparel and merchandise of other schools on EKU’s campus, specifically with UK and UofL apparel.
Collegiate sports are all that people in Kentucky could really root for or have some emotional connection to, since there is no professional team. Children grow up die-hard fans of these schools, rooting for them through elementary, middle and high school. But what happens when a student goes to a different university other than the one that they have a fandom to? That is the case at these smaller universities in Kentucky, and really throughout the country.
One of the reasons that students choose to come to a school such as Eastern Kentucky, is because it is cheaper than these high level, division one, major conference schools like UK and UofL. Students do not choose to go to schools like EKU for their athletics, unless of course you are an athlete, and the students that choose to go to these schools, could not care less about the athletics that take place at that school. It’s a harsh truth, but it’s the truth.
So what happens when a student attends a different university and wears the clothing of another school? Sometimes you’ll have people call you out for it, or joke around about, but it really isn’t a big deal. I would be willing to bet that there are more UK fans that attend EKU than there are actual EKU fans. What is that student supposed to do when they attend a different university? Students should not completely give up their fandom to a team that they have rooted for their whole life and start rooting for a lower conference team that will not have any post-season in the major sports like football and basketball.
Overall, a student has the right to root for another school while attending a different university. Students attend lower division and conference schools like EKU, because the schools are cheaper than high division one schools. In a state like Kentucky, where UK basketball runs deep, as well as UofL basketball, most of these smaller schools have more fans of UK and UofL than that actual school. No one should have to change their fandom.