So I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but if you’re looking at USC, odds are you have that one relative or family friend that talks about “those Trojans” relating to our sports. Yes, it’s true that USC is a D1 athletics school, meaning it’s in the highest division of college athletics and the one that has the highest likelihood of going pro. I didn’t really think about this as a deciding factor in picking colleges (and I certainly don’t think it’s a dealbreaker), but here’s why D1 sports schools, and more specifically sports at USC, are worth the hype.

1. Tailgating - Pre Game Hype

This was new to me when I first got to SC. Football is an all-day experience and it starts with the tailgates. The entire campus transforms overnight into this massive party. People have tents with barbeque grills making food, games to play, music, and more. There’s even a school-provided tailgate with free food and tons of games like a basketball hoop and a football throwing inflatable just for students. It’s a great way to get out and have some fun, especially when you’ve just had a long week. Not to mention, many of the student organizations put on tailgates too so you can hang out with friends from your org and just vibe before the action begins.

2. Free Admission (Mostly)

The title explains itself: we get into games for FREE m, though the “mostly” is there for a reason. USC football is very much larger than life so it’s the one sport that we have to pay for. The season pass is $200, which sounds steep but when you factor in that it covers 7 home games, you’re paying less than $30 per game (engineers can do math!) which is a lot less than outsiders would pay.

As for the actual free part, every other sport is free. Whether it’s soccer, baseball, water polo, or basketball (my personal favorite), every event is 100% free. Just show student ID and you get it, simple as that.

3. Free Merch

Why pay $20+ at the book store when you can go to a FREE game and get a FREE shirt. I have gotten more shirts at games than I can count on both hands. Basketball is notorious for giving out free shirts as they’re either at the door or on the chair when you sit down. They’ve also given out free gym towels and even a foam finger! At the football games, every time we make a touchdown, they shoot off the T-Shirt cannon. Grabbing one is hard but you’ll forever be enshrined in greatness if you catch one (def a bucket list item).

4. Community

It may sound cheesy, but sporting events are where the Trojan family really shows its full might. It’s pretty hard to get a lot of people in a room to agree on any one thing, but when we’re at the games, everyone is cheering for the same team. I can remember watching the game-winning shot over UCLA my freshman year with a sold-out 20,000 person crowd. The whole place erupted and shook and I lost my voice for a few days after. There’s just nothing like it.

Those are just a few reasons why sports are such a cool perk about going to USC. It definitely adds to the atmosphere and really lives up to the hype. I don’t know how I’d be spending all those Saturdays if it weren’t for game days.

Cameron Cole

Cameron Cole

MAJOR: Computer Science/Business Administration YEAR: Class of 2023 HOMETOWN: Chicago, Illinois PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @cxjcole On campus, I've been involved with USC's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, the Alpha Delta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and I am a coach for Viterbi's ENGR 102: Engineering Freshman Academy.