Blind eye: UVA hopes fans show up Saturday night for Pitt game

scott stadiumUVa defensive end Eli Harold, at least, has an idea for how the athletics department can take a step to try to fill up Scott Stadium for Saturday’s key ACC clash with Pitt.

Two words: white out.

Virginia (3-2, 1-0 ACC) has a rare Saturday night game with Pitt (3-2, 1-0 ACC) coming in as one of the two other undefeated teams in the Coastal Division.

The winner leaves Scott Stadium in the driver’s seat toward the ACC Championship Game in December.

So, yeah, there’s incentive to get more than 34,000 fans to come out to the 61,500-seat Scott Stadium to take this one in. That number, 34,000, has been the over-under the past few weeks for a program that deserves better for what it has done this year to turn things around.

It won’t be getting support from the folks in the front office, though, who seem to be resigned to the fate that has befallen Virginia football in 2014.

“We’re not concerned with the color of the clothing people wear to the game,” said Todd Goodale, the associate athletics director for external affairs at UVA, in an interview with jeff white at

“Wear what you’re most comfortable in, whether that’s a polo shirt, a T-shirt, a dress, a shirt and tie, khakis, jeans, even body paint. Just come out and support the team, because that makes the difference.”

About as tone-deaf a statement as you’ll ever hear, that one. Virginia drew 44,000 for its opener with #7 UCLA, and 34,000 for #21 Louisville. As much as you’d love to assume that a game with high stakes like this weekend’s game with Pitt, and a night game at that, would elicit something in the way of fan interest, it’s the definition of insanity to just throw the doors open and hope people who haven’t come out for a game yet to all the sudden do so for Pitt, a team making its first visit to Scott Stadium as a member of the ACC with no history as a UVA rival.

“We know that Scott Stadium can provide a tremendous home-field advantage, and it’s proven that over the years,” Goodale told White. “If people really want to show their support for the team, bring a friend or two who will be as passionate as you are.”

Seriously, whatever they’re paying for marketing expertise over there is clearly money well-spent.

– Column by Chris Graham

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