Troy’s proximity to traditional football powerhouses, the University of Alabama and Auburn University, has seen the influence of their sports programs on campus. Walking around campus, it is not unusual to see students wearing shirts from these schools.
Brooklyn Smith, a senior mathematics major from Columbiana, grew up an Auburn football fan and wears hoodies and shirts from the school. The main reason she wears Auburn gear is convenience.
“I already have a lot of Auburn clothes, especially hoodies,” Smith said. “I also have Troy shirts, and I try to wear them over the Auburn shirts on campus.”
Other students believe this could have an adverse effect on Troy’s school spirit.
Jonathan Philips, a senior sports management major from Highland Home, said students wearing shirts from other schools takes away from school pride and is devaluing the university brand.
“Troy is their school and not any other ones,” Philips said. “(Students) should take heart and pride in what is a part of their life now.”
For Smith, a choice to support Auburn isn’t about picking it as a school over Troy — it is just for the football team.
She believes students should be able to wear gear from other schools on campus, as it is a matter of freedom of choice.
Smith also said students wearing shirts from other schools is not meant to disrespect Troy’s athletic program. She said it can also be a matter of state pride, as these schools often end up representing Alabama on the national stage.
Philips said the Troy program cannot reach its full potential as long as students are wearing clothes representing other schools.
During the freshman Odyssey Convocation held last semester, football head coach Neal Brown also urged students to not wear shirts from other schools on campus.
Alexander Brassington, a senior physics major from Miami, said that while he understands why people have an issue with people wearing gear from other schools, he doesn’t think it is important.
Brassington said students should have a right to wear what they want without fear of social persecution.
“I think the problem most people have with shirts from other schools is that it is not good for school spirit,” Brassington said. “However, I do not think they are trying to represent those schools with those shirts.”