Penn State Basketball

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Sports  |  House: Booksie Classic

Penn State Basketball has been ignored by the school and administration for too long. It is time to put basketball on the map in Happy Valley.

What if Jabari Parker went to Penn State instead of Duke?

What if Andrew Wiggins went to Penn State instead of Kansas?

Why would these players consider such an alternative?

Why did Christian Hackenberg come to Penn State?

Answer: A coach that could recruit and develop them into a professional player.

Why does basketball matter?

It matters because of what I saw during both games with Michigan State this year, not on the court but in the community.

First, I came to Penn State with my wife for New Year’s Eve.  We attended the basketball game and the atmosphere was largely comparable to attending a Disney on Ice show.  The music was soft and outdated, and everywhere I looked there were families and children; no one stood, there was no We Are… Penn State cheer and only a small group of fans applauded the players coming to the bench after building a 10 point first half lead.  I encourage events that are good for the community and families; however, the upper level of the BJC had a large black curtain covering both ends and all of the seats in the upper level, and behind one basket were empty.  We filled less than half off the BJC, on New Year’s Eve, against a top five opponent, from our own conference.  I ask you, where are the young people with the passion for basketball?  They are in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, watching Villanova with Jay Wright and Pittsburgh with Jamie Dixon, Dominate Our State.

Next, I came to Penn State for a recruiting event with my firm, seeking students in the college of engineering for internship and full time opportunities.  That week, I went to Mad Mex to watch Penn State take on the Spartans once again.  Mad Mex was empty and my excitement drained from inside immediately.  The students showed up at 10 p.m. for the half priced Big Ass Margaritas but they didn’t show up at 9 to support their team or 8:30 because they needed to be there early to get a seat with a good view of the TV.

I am involved as an alumnus of Penn State year round.  I attend football games in the fall, women’s volleyball and basketball in the winter, and encourage my firm to continue recruiting Penn State graduates.  I will be there in May next year to see my nephew graduate.  While the State continues to flat line appropriations to our school, what better way to generate profit for the school and the community than fielding a competitive basketball program?  Not all alumni are committed to returning and contributing to the community on a regular basis like I am and we need to give them a reason to do so.  Despite my involvement, there is one month I haven’t been to Penn State in over a decade – March!

0 Big Ten Titles

0 Final Fours

0 Wins in the NCAA Tournament since 2001

0 Reason to attend a Home Basketball game late in the season

This is the current Wikipedia quote regarding Penn State Basketball: “For years the basketball team has been a little sister of the poor stepchild to football, a winter afterthought given all the tending and care of a vegetable garden positioned in the middle of a nuclear field. Administrative support waffles between tepid applause and casual indifference”

This is my quote regarding Penn State Basketball: “Mr. Joyner, tear down that black curtain.  Fill the 15,261 seat Jordan Center and make Penn State a Power House”.

Submitted: February 08, 2014

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