MTSU honors veterans, hosts 101st Airborne Division during basketball game

Photo and Story by Seth Whitehead / Contributing Writer

MTSU honored its veterans during Wednesday night’s basketball game against the University of Alabama at Murphy Center by hosting soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, contracting new ROTC recruits and admitting veterans free.

“Tonight, we had the 101st from Fort Campbell, who gratefully came out and rappelled in for us,” said Chelsea Floyd, the assistant athletic director of Marketing and Fan Engaging. “That was something our fans have not seen in the Murphy Center since it’s been redone.”

Members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division entered the game ball in stylish fashion by rappelling from the rafters in Murphy Center. The team conducted three different rappels, demonstrating different techniques with each repetition.

In addition to the display of skill, the army contracted four new recruits for MTSU’s ROTC program during a break in the game. The recruits recited the Oath of Enlistment, which signals the start of their army career. Those sworn in were Ladarius Fitzgerald, Caleb Rowland, Kylee Harrison and Jordan Plumb.

Four MTSU students raise their hands during the Oath of Enlistment ceremony while standing on the floor of the basketball court in Murphy Center.
Four cadets take the Oath of Enlistment during a contracting ceremony. From left to right: Jordan Plumb, Kylee Harrison, Caleb Rowland, Ladarius Fitzgerald. (Seth Whitehead/ Sidelines)

“Swearing in is raising your right hand and swearing your allegiance to the army,” said newly contracted Kylee Harrison.

Harrison, a sophomore, said this a big step for her. She also had the privilege of presenting the game ball from the 101st to the referee.

Those with military IDs were able to get tickets for free, as a thank you for their service.

MTSU tied UAB 33-33 at the end of the first period but was able to win 71-65 at the end of the second period.

To contact News Editor Angele Latham, email

For more news, follow us at, or on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

Previous Men's Basketball: Donovan Sims clutch 3-pointer propels Blue Raiders past UAB
Next Nashville Shakespeare Festival brings 'Julius Caesar' to MTSU, puts modern spin on classic