The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

THUMMEL: WSU Athletics should use Boise State as an example

Revitalize Bushels for Butch
Boise State University lines up against Washington State University during the game against BSU on Sept. 9 at Martin Stadium.

Since the legalization of name image and likeness (NIL), college athletic leaders have implemented programs to maximize student-athlete acquisition for various sports. 

This new reality makes it more difficult for smaller schools to compete, as financial resources are often dwindled in rural areas. 

While WSU falls into that category, there are some untapped resources alumni and fans could utilize for sustained athletic success. 

Last Friday, I went to Boise, Idaho, for a standup comedy show. 

While in Boise, I decided to visit Boise State University’s campus. 

WSU football signed a scheduling agreement with the Mountain West Conference (BSU’s conference), so I thought I would check out the facilities of a future conference mate.

When I went by Albertsons Stadium (home of the Boise State football team) I could not help but make comparisons to Pullman. 

While walking by, I noticed how well-developed the stadium’s architecture was compared to Gesa Field. 

Amongst the blue chaos, the feature that stuck out the most was a large jumbotron in the north endzone sponsored by Double Ranch Northwest Beef

I immediately compared the sign to Pullman’s farming background and the current athletic facilities at WSU. 

With the Cougs moving into a period with no clear conference future, the Palouse needs to get creative to keep our national recognition. 

WSU previously had a fund titled The Washington State University Stadium Builders Fund.

Within this fund, there were two successful programs called Bushels for Butch and Acre a Year. These programs were designed for fans rooted in agriculture to contribute without giving cash donations. 

These funds were essential in the construction of the Gesa Field at Martin Stadium we know today. 

While Bushels for Butch is still a program, the money does not go to athletics itself

My thought is that WSU Athletics could create a similar fund directed entirely toward money for athletics.

This move could help WSU enhance its facilities while relieving financial debt. 

Boise State’s approach is focused on upgrading the amenities in Albertsons Stadium with plans to upgrade even more

WSU Athletics should take a similar approach to our current facilities and utilize this fund to replace the metal benches at Gesa Field with seats and potentially build a more intimate basketball setting.

Both of these strategies would without a doubt improve fan morale and attendance percentages.

Fans should not have to sit on cold metal benches in the later part of the season and there would be improved optics with the use of individual seats. 

A more intimate basketball setting would allow fans to feel more connected to the game, with the chance to stand out as a university with choices in architecture. 

WSU Athletics may have a plan in motion behind the scenes, and if so the public deserves to know about it in detail. 

I want to believe in the leadership we have in place, but there needs to be more action and transparency with fans. 

No matter what WSU leadership does moving forward, it needs to be creative and effective. 

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About the Contributor
Zach is a junior multimedia journalism major from Clarkston, Washington. He likes football and grew up going to Cougar football games.