Midnight Madness pep rally a no-go after lack of support

First its players flew the coop. Then its coach bolted. This year the Northwestern men’s basketball team has suffered another casualty: Efforts to start a Midnight Madness tradition have ended for now.

After trying to bring the pep rally to Northwestern for a year, the Associated Student Government learned late last spring that the athletic department would not support their efforts. Although the department did not reject the proposal, department leaders discouraged it, saying not enough students would show up to justify the event, according to ASG president Adam Humann.

After the meeting, Humann and then-president Steve Spaulding discussed holding the pep rally anyway but decided against it.

“Following the exodus from the team, we decided it wasn’t the most opportune time to begin Midnight Madness,” said Humann, a Weinberg senior. Two Northwestern basketball players quit before last season began, four transferred and one decided not to return after a dismal 5-25 season.

Midnight Madness is a popular event held at about a third of Division I schools the midnight before men’s basketball season officially starts.

Humann said he had hoped to begin the tradition with a team on the rise.

“It’s frustrating because it’s a pretty simple good idea,” Humann said. “But it’s hard to start a new tradition when you’re not on an upswing — which we were when I proposed it.”

Humann said ASG will continue to support the team and welcome new coach Bill Carmody.