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'Club Red' debuts in Tad Pad Friday

Phillip Waller/The Daily Mississippian

 
While the Ole Miss men’s basketball squad will look different with seven newcomers, that’s not the only change that will be seen around the Tad Smith Coliseum, as the student section debuts Friday as “Club Red.” 
 
Club Red will be the lower portion of the student section that will be free for students to sign up for. Students will be able to sign up through Dec. 9, at home basketball games and receive a free Club Red T-shirt. Students can sign up for Rebel Rewards when they enter the Tad Pad, or if already signed up for Rebel Rewards, students will receive a shirt when they enter. Students will be limited to one shirt.
 
The student section has been repainted red, and red lights are expected to be directed on the student section. There will be an entrance to the Tad Pad specifically for students this year, in effort to make Club Red more accessible. 
 
All of this is an effort to create the best student section possible at Ole Miss basketball games, according to marketing coordinator Brandon Hudspeth. 
 
“We want to build that excitement and build the student section,” Hudspeth said. “We’re going to do some things to help that.”
 
The student section will also have more designed cheers, as cheer sheets will be displayed at some games, similar to what was done against Mississippi State last season. 
 
Fans can also vote on the men’s basketball Facebook page for which big, cut-out head they want to be made for the next home game. Throughout the year, different ballots will be made with celebrities and players. The first ballot includes Butters from South Park, Blake from Workaholics, actor Zach Galifianakis, college basketball analyst Jay Bilas and Chewbacca from Star Wars. Hudspeth also said to look for things like blowup saxophones and for constant upgrades throughout the season. 
 
Club Red and all of the extra props in the student section are meant to boost the atmosphere for the basketball team.
 
“Coach Kennedy is a big proponent to having students at the game,” Hudspeth said. “Because they bring so much energy, and passion, and enthusiasm for the team.”
 
The lower portion of the student section will be reserved for students wearing red. This rule will likely be lenient during nonconference games, but once SEC plays roll around, it will be strictly enforced. 
 
Also new to the Coliseum will be a #hottytoddy painted on the sideline in front of the benches. According to Hudspeth, the most commonly used hashtag relating to Ole Miss is #hottytoddy. 
 
Friday night is opening night for both the men and women’s teams. The women play at 5:30 p.m. against Southeastern Louisiana, and the men will follow with an 8 p.m. tip against Mississippi Valley State.