MUSS football membership already halfway to cap

By Rosemary Campbell, Staff Writer

When Mallory Hill hears people talking about U football, she thinks of the MUSS.

Hill, a senior in history teaching, said that more than 3,100 students have signed up to sit in the MUSS, the student fan club, within a month of the membership being open for the football seats.

Hill, the MUSS president, said the MUSS has been around since 2002 when it was known as the Utah Football Fan Club. Back then, the student section had a mere 800 members.

Membership grew to more than 3,000 by 2003 and steadily increased to 5,000, where it has capped off. This year, after the U football team’s perfect season and victory at the Sugar Bowl, more than 2,800 students registered within the first week of sign-ups, Hill said.

“We are almost half the way to our goal of 6,000,” Hill said. “We can easily hit that.”

Students who sign up for MUSS membership pay $25 and have a ticket for each home game, access to tailgate parties held before home games and discounted road trip costs to away games on the “MUSS Bus.” U students pay for a free football ticket in mandatory student fees, but last year not all students could get a ticket when some games sold out. Hill said head coach Kyle Whittingham requested they try to increase the cap to 6,000 this year.

At this time last year, the MUSS had only 2,000 students signed up, a significant difference to this year’s sign-up frenzy, Hill said.

Jonathan Bowen, a junior in finance and one of two vice presidents of the MUSS, thinks this is because of the U football team’s 13-0 season last fall. As the U won more and more games, people who weren’t in the MUSS wanted tickets but found they had to wait, sometimes for two days, sleeping in the cold to get their tickets.

“People learned their lesson,” Bowen said. “Be in the MUSS.”

Hill said another 500 students joined MUSS after the Utes beat the University of Michigan last year in the first game of the season.

For some students, having a guaranteed ticket and reserved seat for each home game is worth the $25, but in the MUSS, students can also sit with their friends, Bowen said.

Catie Blaine, a freshman in elementary education, was part of the MUSS last fall and has already signed up to be in it again.

“The games were way fun last year, but it is for sure a social event,” Blaine said.

Blaine said being in the MUSS has helped her meet new people and gives her something to do on game days besides sitting at home while her friends are at the game.

“Everyone feeds off each other’s energy, and it makes it more intense for sure,” Blaine said.

For Hill, the MUSS creates an experience for fans and students that was non-existent before it was formed. A lifelong Utah fan, the games are much more fun now than they were even 10 years ago, Hill said.

Bowen said the MUSS helps get people involved at the U.

“The MUSS is hands-down the best student organization on campus,” Bowen said.

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Erik Daenitz

Muss membership has already exceeded 3,100 students after the Utes? perfect season, breaking the halfway barrier to the goal of 6,000.