Midnight Madness, a basketball tradition of late-night contests, loud music, light shows and student involvement once flooded the gyms of schools all over the country, including Keene State College.
Nowadays, the event has been set aside for a number of years, and students and athletes want to know why.
Associate Athletic Director and the Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball team, Rob Colbert, said that the reasoning behind stopping the madness was mainly financial.
“It had become such a big production fiscally-financially. It was very difficult, costly to put on,” Colbert said.
Colbert also cited the significant government budget cuts to the school as a part of the reasoning behind cancelling the event. Colbert said that if Midnight Madness were to come back, it would need to be centered on one major goal: school pride.
“There’s only one [goal] — student pride. Pride in the institution. Whether it be our basketball team, our baseball team, our student activities council, our student government, our staff, our faculty. Whatever it may be — pride in the institution. In this day and age, I think that that’s the most important thing that we’ve shown,” Colbert said.
That pride was something that Colbert said was on full display in the aftermath of the Pumpkin Fest incidents that occurred last month, when students took to the streets to clean up and repair the damage.
Women’s basketball player Jovan Kingwood said she supports bringing Midnight Madness back to KSC.
Kingwood also said she wondered why the school would cancel such a popular event.
“[Midnight Madness] is one thing that I knew was big here and everyone loved going to it that did go to it,” Kingwood said.
According to Colbert, much of the cost of the event stemmed from attractions such as light shows, DJs and contests with prizes such as free t-shirts and meal plans.
Sam Murphy, a sophomore guard for the women’s basketball team, said she believes that bringing Midnight Madness back would be to the benefit of the KSC community without putting such a strain on the school’s wallet.
“I think it would be a good idea to get it back. [It would] get everyone together and support all the athletes,” Murphy said, “I think we could do it without spending that much money. There’s different ways to have fun without spending all the money.”
She said, “We can do all of those activities and still be Midnight Madness. It’s just about us all getting together. It’s not about spending all the money.” Ryanne Williams is a junior forward on the women’s basketball team. The third-year player commented on the lasting effect that hitting the restart button on the event could have on team support and attendance during games. “I think that Midnight Madness definitely helps our team — both [men’s and women’s] teams — because if people come and see us perform and stuff, they’ll be more likely to come to more games. So I think they should do it,” Williams said. The topic of whether to bring back Midnight Madness is one that Colbert said has been brought up as recently as this year, but no plans have been officially made.
Jacob Barrett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org