OU's 'Mitten Toss' thriving in 11th year

Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-01 18:43:54-05

College basketball student sections across the country have their ways of getting into the opponent's heads, especially during free throws.

Take the Sheridan High School student section in Thornville, Ohio, whose 'In-Game Birthing" distraction went viral and lead to a missed free throw.

On campus at Oakland University's O'Rena, they have all the usual suspects with the band. The big heads and the loud chants, but after the first big basket of the game, things get a little more revealing. The men's swim team anchors the student section and has decided that wearing their uniforms is the ultimate distraction and form of school spirit.

"Honestly it's really not that awkward at all, we're in our Speedo's for five hours a day any ways so we're pretty used to it at this point," one swimmer said.

"We know it's for team spirit so we're kind of used to it," one cheerleader shared. "The weirder the better, right?"

"We get a lot of raised eyebrows from the other side and their fans so it's great for us and a lot of fun doing it," one swimmer exclaimed.

What's not a strange tradition is the annual mitten toss sponsored by the men's swim team. Each year for one game, littering the floor with donated winter items.

"We just started the program to donate back to local charities and it's just been kind of a tradition ever since," sophomore Oakland swimmer Brant Cassidy said. "It's great giving back. This year the kids are going to be here and we get to present the mittens to them so we're hoping it's going to be a great turnout."

And it was, thousands of items were donated this year as they hope that the event grows even larger next year.