The Stuart Siegel Center is already one tough place to play.
An increase in season ticket sales and their “sold out” streak all contribute to head coach Shaka Smart’s vision of ‘havoc’. Now, some VCU season ticket holders want to make the environment at The Stu even harder on opposing teams.
Manny Juranis, a VCU graduate and longtime basketball fan, was brainstorming with friends about how they could get the fans even more into the games.
"It's worth a point, it's worth a turnover, it's worth...something!!" Juranis said. "You feed off the energy of the crowd."
After seeing other schools get their fans in same-colored shirts, Juranis came up with the idea of black "6th Man" t-shirts, playing off the sports belief that the home team's fans can be the 6th man on any basketball team, provided they create the proper atmosphere. He contacted a friend at Bonfire Funds, and the idea was born.
"6th Man" shirts are available at http://www.bonfirefunds.com/fund/vcu-6th-man. They sell for $25 with $15 going directly to the Ram Athletic Fund (RAF) and the rest of the money going back into making the shirts. The 60% that is being directly donated to the RAF is double what VCU gets from any NCAA licensed merchandise.
The site needs 50 orders to begin processing, otherwise no one is charged for pledging an order. "I'm hoping we get to 2,000" Juranis said "so we can give a $30,000 check to the RAF which could help a student-athlete get a scholarship and education at VCU"
"I want to present a check at halftime and have them say 'Who are you?'. I'm just a fan"