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Does El Paso HAVE to Support UTEP? [OPINION]

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Duke Keith

What’s the surest way to get people looking at you side-eyed? Tell them they have to do something.

“If you’re serious about getting in shape, you have to do CrossFit!”

Or get a job in heavy construction and get paid to do the same thing.

“You have to get on Snaptwitbook! I’ve been on it for years!”

So, you’re cool with people looking at your selfies and playing Before and After.

“You have to give your complete support to this President!”

When borscht becomes the national dish? Guess we’d better.

“You have to support UTEP and help sell out The Don!”

If you’re in El Paso you’ve heard this for years, not just the last week.

Used to be that going to games to support your local college team was a given in any city.

But bundling isn’t just what you do in winter before heading to the arena anymore. Why go to games when games come to you on your TV and smartphone?

Plus, some college programs are clearly more deserving than others.

UTEP?

This is the part where your in-laws ask you for a loan.

You know it’s not all their fault.

But.

This is where you examine your reasoning.

Holding out because you want changes and firings and don’t believe the athletic department cares enough?

Guess the in-laws know your answer.

UTEP blah blah competitive program blah blah blah higher ticket prices blah blah no money blah blah blah geographic isolation blah.

Yeah, yeah. Fans want records broken, not the other way around.

But.

When you see a Miner social media rant, check zip codes. There are plenty that don’t start “799..”.

Not anymore.

Easy. No one’s saying that someone, especially an alum, doesn’t get to criticize if they leave.

However, this El Paso brain drain thing we’ve been discussing since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo — it’s okay for our own kids to scram but not for UTEP coaches to have a hard time getting other cities’ kids to come and play here?

It’s okay to acknowledge that DFW, Houston and San Antonio offer better-paying jobs. But UTEP football coaches who make two-thirds of what coaches in those C-USA cities make should do better?

Basketball is different, not only because Tim Floyd tops the C-USA money tree.

UTEP’s national championship banner sure looks pretty waving in the HVAC breeze. And not many programs have a Hollywood movie recruits can pop into the DVD.

Here it is again. But.

The other side, to those who’ll take the time to listen to Cousin Eddie, is that Vince Hunter didn’t miraculously return three games into the conference season.

Isaac Hamilton is still a senior at UCLA.

Yet, despite a 12-game losing streak, the Miners made a U-turn and will play Old Dominion for third place in C-USA.

Does that mean…?

Dead-ass right.

Speaking of Tim Floyd, the coach himself has said that college programs earn their crowds.

It doesn’t change the obvious. UTEP is absolutely a place where a coach will keep a job other schools would’ve yanked away after four or five tries.

But when you see that fan support Bat Signal, a side-eyed glance doesn’t have to be your final answer.

HOW TO AVOID THE $8.50 FEES FOR UTEP BASKETBALL TICKETS

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