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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The N&R's Rob Daniels did a good job of analyzing the electric atmosphere in Winston-Salem these days.

But I've got one bone of contention: Using Wake Forest's two-to-one attendance-enrollment ratio, which is "the largest in NCAA Division I," as a key indicator.

The article includes a table showing attendance-enrollment percentages. Wake's number one at 204.8 percent, followed by Siena at 203.9 and St. Bonaventure at 184.0.

The table then lists the rest of the ACC, which is considerably lower. Carolina's at 80.1 percent, then Duke at 73.9 and so on. In other words, Duke's average attendance was 9,134 and its enrollment is 12,900. So, in theory, 73.9 percent of Duke's student body attends games.

The problem I have is this theory does not take into consideration the different sizes of the arenas, especially in the case of Duke: Cameron Indoor only seats 9,134. So would it not be fair to assume that if Duke, which has an enrollment of 12,600, played in a 24,000-seat arena, then the Devils would have a two-to-one attendance-enrollment ratio ?

The flip side is Wake is a small school playing in a good-sized (15,000) multi-purpose arena. Were Wake playing in a smaller, basketball-only arena, the attendance-enrollment ratio would be smaller. But enthusiasm for the team would not be dampened. In fact, tickets to Wake games would become hotter commodities.

We also know that students are but part of the crowd at college basketball games, especially at the Smith Center. Perhaps such statistics prove broader community support for an entity that is a small percentage of the overall population.

This is just the way my mind wandered as I read the local sports section. Am I weird?