WSU vs. UD | Graphic by Grace Merkle | The Wright State Guardian
Since Wright State University (WSU) and the University of Dayton (UD) have existed, the two schools have always tried to prove which university in the city is the best.
Normally, a rivalry like this would bring sports fans around the city to watch game after game, but for Dayton, Ohio residents, it’s been disappointing to see the two big schools ignore each other in athletics.
The last time Men’s Basketball, the biggest sport for WSU and UD, played each other was in 1997.
Recently, two matches took place between the schools in Women’s Volleyball, one at WSU and one at UD.
While the match at WSU couldn’t have spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions last year, both matches were incredibly close, went to five sets and had both teams playing at the top of their game.
The match at UD even featured a packed gym with fans from both sides, UD’s Pep Band and this sign from WSU’s Men’s Basketball team, saying “Play us @ Basketball.”
Cincinnati gets it
To see if the UD Men’s team will take WSU up on their offer, the first concept to realize is that not just one matchup but a yearly matchup is definitely possible.
An hour south in Cincinnati, Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati always come together once a year in the Cross-Town Shootout, a Men’s Basketball game played annually since 1946.
“It’s a very special game, not only for both teams but for our community and the alumni as well,” Tom Eiser, Associate Athletic Director at Xavier, said.
It’s not like the love for the rivalry has any signs of slowing down, either, as ticket sales sell out nearly every year.
“When we have it, it’s always the hardest game to get tickets for,” Eiser said. “It’s the game that a lot of our fans and a lot of our alumni look forward to.”
It takes two
Up in Dayton, if a basketball rivalry is going to start between WSU and UD it will take both programs to make it work.
“In all cases when it comes to scheduling, it takes two,” Doug Hauschild, Director of Athletics Communication at UD, said. “And even then, sometimes it doesn’t work out … There’s a lot of factors fans don’t think of.”
For both schools, the coaches or administrators might decide against a game between WSU and UD, whether it is for league preparation, overall record, or other factors.
“It always has to be what is in that program’s best interest. For any program, you’ve got to do what’s best for your program in your mind,” Hauschild said.
Even if WSU and UD don’t play as soon as fans would like, the volleyball matches this year and last year have set a track for basketball to play each other someday in the future.
“I can’t predict where there would be other games and other sports, but I’m sure someday it will happen,” Hauschild said. “The two biggest sports of both schools are basketball, so that’s what most people would be looking to do.”