As far as the student attendance thing, every student is guaranteed a ticket if they want one, so the administration really has no control over student attendance.
As far as the interest level on campus, it's hard to compare eras, as nobody went to school in both the '80s and late '90s/'00s. I would agree that it's hard to believe that a student could be as excited or care as much about an 0-2 team as a 2-0 and national championship-contending team. But your original post asserted that the students graduating today "don't care as much about football and won't bother the administration about it." I will say that ND students graduating today are desperate for ND to have a great football team. The losing years while a student if anything only has made us more hungry for football success. Footba is still an integral part of the identity of an ND student. 15 years of losing hasn't changed that. Maybe 30 or 40 years will, but student interest in ND football hasn't died yet.