Posts tagged ‘Centre Daily Times’

A Pivotal Season for Nittany Lion Hoops

The Penn State men’s basketball team held its annual media day Monday afternoon, suiting up for interviews and pictures before running through an open practice. As you’d expect, the mood was good: These preseason gatherings tend to be optimistic, with players and coaches focused on the season’s potential and a schedule loaded with winnable games. But even by those standards, these Nittany Lions seem like an especially positive and confident bunch. That’s encouraging, and perhaps a little surprising.

Last season, (more…)

October 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm Leave a comment

Tuscaloosa Postmortem

It’s absolutely beautiful in State College today: 78, sunny, and relatively dry, or about 15 degrees and 300 percent less humid than it was Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Saturday night’s result aside, I had a blast in Alabama, and I imagine most Penn Staters feel the same. I think it’s also safe to say we’re all glad to be home — even if, in my case, it took three planes, 11 hours and two ticketing snafus to get here.

My travel travails kept me from posting a follow-up on Sunday, but here are a few final thoughts, images, and links on a memorable weekend and forgettable game…

Did I Mention the Atmosphere? I think I might have, but it’s worth mentioning again what a great setting Tuscaloosa is for a big college football game. From the hospitality and tailgating to the noise and color inside the stadium, Penn Staters who made the trip will know we aren’t the only ones who know who to prep for and celebrate a big home game. Here’s a bit more from the pregame tailgating scene, which takes over the heart of campus on game day (click to enlarge).

That’s the crowd on part of The Quad, with the iconic Denny Chimes in the background. About 100 yards to the left of where I shot this stands Gorgas Library; it, too, is in the heart of the tailgating crowds. Here are shots I took from the top of the library steps, looking left…

…straight out from the steps…

…and looking right.

Can you imagine the mall in front of Pattee & Paterno Library covered with tents on a Saturday morning? Now that I think of it, (more…)

September 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm 4 comments

Ben Heath Is Ready for His Close-Up

Ben Heath didn’t do us any favors yesterday, rendering slightly out of date the profile we’re running on him in our next issue. But he does have a great reason: Heath, the junior catcher who last month broke Penn State’s single-season home run record, was chosen by the Houston Astros on Tuesday in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft. Heath’s selection is the highest for a Nittany Lion non-pitcher since Greg Vogel ’76 was picked in the first round 34 years ago, and the highest ever for a Penn State underclassman. With a year of eligibility remaining, Heath could postpone his pro career, but he told the Centre Daily Times that he expects to sign with the Astros soon and link up with their farm system. (The status of incoming recruits Kyle Redinger of Lebanon, Pa., and Austin Urban of Windber, Pa. — drafted yesterday in the 11th and 27th rounds, respectively — is unclear.)

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at our profile of Heath, already out the door as part of our July/August issue — click for a larger (and hopefully readable) image.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

June 9, 2010 at 8:50 am 2 comments

Wrestling, Baseball & Conference Expansion? Oh, My.

Penn State student-athletes aren’t in season right now, but there’s plenty to keep Nittany Lion sports in the news. A quick primer:

-Ben Heath, who went from role player to All-American candidate over the course of a terrific junior season (and who you can read more about when our July/August issue hits mailboxes in a few weeks), is hoping to hear his name called in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. The MLB draft is notoriously hard to call, but given his skill set— a solid defensive catcher who hits for power and average—he has a shot at being Penn State’s highest-drafted non-pitcher in more than 30 years. The draft starts tonight at 7 p.m., continues Tuesday, and wraps up Wednesday.

-Sunday’s Centre Daily Times had an interesting story about how Nittany Lion wrestling coach Cael Sanderson and the program’s boosters are hoping to make University Park a training destination for the best American wrestlers. Given the sport’s popularity in central Pennsylvania, Sanderson’s icon status, and the quality of the facilities at the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex, that goal seems well on its way to becoming reality.

-Last but hardly least, Big Ten expansion talk has gotten a lot more complicated. The league had proposed a slow, deliberate approach to the question of adding a new member (or members), but reports over the past few days mean the Big Ten might have to act fast. As the New York Times reports today, the Pac-10 is considering annexing half of the Big 12 (including potential Big Ten target Texas), a move that would force the hand of Big Ten targets Missouri and Nebraska, not to mention coveted longshot Notre Dame. It all means that Joe Paterno might soon see his hopes for a bigger Big Ten come to fruition, and that the college sports landscape might be on the verge of dramatic change.

Or, as the Times story points out, nothing at all might change. Either way, we should know sooner than later.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

June 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

Beaver Stadium Reseating Under the Microscope

We’ve been getting lots of letters on the subject of the Nittany Lion Club’s Seat Transfer & Equity Plan, aka STEP, the overhaul of the Beaver Stadium seating plan aimed at generating more revenue for the University’s self-sustaining athletic department. Most of the letters come from long-time football season ticket holders, and their letters are pretty critical. As a season-ticket holder myself, I understand why those fans — many of whom face the possibility of moving from their long-held seats, or paying substantially more to keep them — are upset. But as someone who’s covered major college athletics for most of my career, I also understand the economic realities faced by a department that expects to compete at a national level in dozens of sports without taking a penny from the University’s budget.

The STEP announcement produced quite a bit of a media coverage, too much of which was knee-jerk reaction, and too little of which was balanced explanation of the fans’ gripes and the reasoning behind Penn State’s decision. Thankfully, some of that was provided in this piece by Jeff Rice ’03 in Sunday’s Centre Daily Times. The story (which might require free registration to access) is reasonable and informative. If you’re one of those fans, I hope you’ll check it out.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

May 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm 1 comment

Tim Curley on the State of Penn State Hoops

On the final weekend of a a terrific NCAA tournament, the Centre Daily Times today runs an interview with Penn State athletic director Tim Curley 76, 78 MEd on the state of a Nittany Lion basketball program that hasn’t been part of that tournament in almost a decade. My friend Jeff Rice 03 Com conducted the Q&A, in which Curley talks about his support for coach Ed DeChellis 82, the state and direction of the program, and why DeChellis, despite finishing last in the Big Ten in six of the past nine years, has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 4, 2010 at 8:58 am Leave a comment

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