This coming week is a perfect opportunity to show your True Blue colors as the MTSU Blue Raiders men’s and women’s basketball teams prepare to take on Sun Belt Conference archrival Western Kentucky at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.
Commissioner Jeff Phillips, center, reads a proclamation at Thursday’s meeting denoting the week of Jan. 21-27 as “True Blue Week.” (MTSU photo by A. Heidt)
The entire week — which culminates with the hardwood battles on Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27 — has been deemed "True Blue Week.”
MTSU representatives Diane Turnham, associate athletic director, and Coby Sherlock, president of the Student Government Association, accepted an official mayoral proclamation for “True Blue Week” Thursday night at the Rutherford County Commission meeting. The city of Murfreesboro has also made a proclamation as well.
Spearheaded by MTSU Athletics, the purpose of the week is to build fan support and turnout for the Western Kentucky games, which features a men’s contest scheduled to tip off at 3 p.m. Jan. 26 and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2. The women’s contest will start at 2 p.m. Jan. 27.
“The goal is to get as many people as possible to the basketball games on Saturday and Sunday against Western Kentucky,” said Marco Born, assistant athletic director for ticketing and marketing.
Blue Raider fans should wear blue throughout the week and fly their MTSU car flags. Businesses and restaurants around town are encouraged to have their staffs to wear blue, and those businesses with marquees outside are asked to promote the games.
“This is possibly the last time or one of the last times we’re going to play Western as a conference rival with our pending move to Conference USA,” Born said. “That rivalry has always been great because of the proximity of the campuses, about 100 miles a part, which has made for great basketball and a great atmosphere.”
As announced in late November, MTSU Athletics will be leaving the Sun Belt no later than July 2014 to join Conference USA.
“I think it’s important for our fans to come out to support these games this week,” said Born, who pointed out the “Plus 1” promotional push for season ticket holders to bring one extra fan with them to the games.
“If every fan does that we’ll fill the arena up pretty quickly.”
Tickets are $10. For ticket information, call 1-888-YES-MTSU or 615-898-5261. You can also visit goblueraiders.com and click on the “Tickets” tab at the top of the page.
But “True Blue Week” isn’t just about hoops.
The week also highlights the university’s beliefs expressed in its True Blue Pledge, which spells out four core values: honesty and integrity; respect for diversity; engagement in the community; and a commitment to reason, not violence. (Learn more at mtsu.edu/trueblue/.)
All of those values will be in focus on Monday, Jan. 21, when the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership and the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs present the Martin Luther King celebration from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Keathley University Center Theater.
Members of the MTSU community will gather to honor King’s life and legacy. The theme for this year’s celebration is “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”
The free public event will feature a keynote speaker and remarks from a diverse group of presenters.
Other events scheduled for the coming week by the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership that reflect the “True Blue” spirit include:
• A Student Organization Fair
will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the Student Union ballroom. Students are encouraged to visit with all of the registered student organizations on hand and learn how they can be more involved in the campus community.
• An International Welcome Reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, in Student Union Room 330. New and returning international students will be guests of honor at this fellowship.
Jimmy Hart is the MTSU director of Media Relations. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.