Weird Feeling For the Mocs Opening College Basketball Season With No Fans

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Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) No buzz or vibe for the Mocs basketball season opener Wednesday against Lander.
McKenzie Arena was void of fans. Almost felt like a scrimmage. UTC announced they will not allow any fans through at least December as a COVID safety pre-caution. The lack of fans didn’t seem to bother UTC, as they won the game 99-63. But head coach Lamont Paris admits it was strange playing without fans.

Said Paris:”It’s just a different atmosphere. It’s weird in a lot of different ways. You can communicate better. That’s a fact. I’d be crazy. Guys can hear each other better. Guys can hear me better. They may not like that. So it’s just a different atmosphere. But I think throughout the whole year as long as we are playing without fans, we are going to constantly have to do that. Generate your own juice.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.