Gay.com has named the top 10 gay friendly college football schools and one Tennessee University made the list.
Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro was ranked the number nine most gay-friendly campus in the country on football game day based on the school's openness to give gays the "opportunity to ‘branch out’ and enjoy the electric football scenery."
"This school makes the list because of its progressive nature trapped by the surroundings of rural Tennessee," the Web site states. "There is no secret that gays entrench the campus of Middle Tennessee State. The school’s small fan base, along with its relative close location to Nashville makes this a prime destination for any fan wanting to see a traditional college football game without the crowd mayhem."
Brandon Thomas, vice president of MTSU's gay-straight alliance, MTLambda Association, said he was somewhat surprised that his school made the list.
"I wouldn’t say MTSU is 'entrenched' with gay people as the article suggests, but I would say that MTSU students as a whole are more progressive when it comes to issues dealing with equality and could care less about who you are attracted to," Thomas said. "The fact that the school was founded in 1911, during the progressive era seems to stick with the school almost a hundred years later. There is a gay-friendly atmosphere on campus so I could only imagine that any event that is an extension of MTSU would also have a gay-friendly atmosphere."
Thomas said he has seen same-sex couples holding hands as they walk the MTSU campus and has yet to have any "major problems" on campus himself.
"Sure, MTLambda has had a few words and glares thrown at us when we tabled for marriage equality, but those people are few and far between on campus," Thomas said.
Likely boosting MTSU up gay.com's list, the article references a 2006 event that made headlines when two male fans kissed in an opening shot of a televised ESPN broadcast.
The list includes five schools from the Pacific-10 conference, two schools from the Big Ten and Sun Belt, and one university from the Atlantic Coast Conference including:
1 & 2) University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles
3) Ohio State University
4 & 5) Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley
6) University of Michigan
7) Duke University
8) University of Oregon
9) Middle Tennessee State
10) Florida International