RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Anyone who has ever been to a CIAA basketball game will tell you the fans and their participation in the is what makes the CIAA experience unique. They can make a bad game well worth the price of admission.

Notice I didn’t say “spectators,” for they don’t just watch. They get into it! The back and forth between players and fans, the trash-talking, and the overall experience is the stuff of legend.

Unfortunately, due to rising COVID-19 cases, all of our area CIAA schools put policies in place to limit attendance at basketball games to essential personnel only. It totally takes that element away from the home team. St. Augustine’s has found a way to make a little lemonade out of some big lemons and for fans to show their support.

The SAU Department of Athletics is selling fan cutouts that will appear in the stands during the men’s and women’s doubleheaders. The cost for a cutout is $60. Proceeds will help SAU Athletics enhance the student-athlete experience.

Numerous schools and professional teams did this last year during the height of the pandemic and had great success with it.

Fans can send high-resolution pictures of themselves electronically to awjeffries@st-aug.edu. All pictures are accepted, except screenshot photos. The cutouts should be ready within 24 to 48 hours.

Purchases can be made to awjeffries@st-aug.edu or online at saintaugfalcons.com. Check or money order is accepted.

Just because you can’t go in person doesn’t mean you can’t see the Falcons play. CBS 17 routinely has highlights from their home games on our newscast at 11 pm. and all SAU home basketball games are livestreamed on the CIAA Sports Network.

It might not be the same as a packed house rivalry game between Shaw and St. Aug, but buying a cutout is one way the players will know you’re supporting them. And when they do allow people back in, we will all be ready.