Posts tagged ‘Eric Shrive’

From the Magazine: Ben Kline

As a Penn State linebacker, Ben Kline knows all about the pressure of living up to a legacy of greatness. It’s good experience for his other role: president of Penn State’s chapter of Uplifting Athletes.

Photo by Cardoni.

Photo by Cardoni.

A redshirt junior linebacker, Kline is the latest Nittany Lion to lead the founding Uplifting Athletes chapter, a charity benefiting rare disease research which was started in 2003 by former Lion Scott Shirley ’03, ’04g. In the time since, UA has expanded into a national organization with student-run chapters at nearly two dozen college football programs. But Penn State still sets the tone: When the Lions host their annual Lift for Life event on Saturday, July 12, they’re expecting to surpass $1,000,000 raised for kidney cancer research.

“It’s really grown, and it’s something our team has really rallied around,” says Kline, the featured athlete in our July/August issue. “It’s become one of those traditions that’s built into Penn State football.” Much like Linebacker U., it’s also a tradition of excellence whose departed greats have left very big shoes to fill. In the case of Uplifting Athletes, the biggest belong to Eric Shrive ’13, the former offensive lineman who preceded Kline as president, and who raised more than $100,000 for UA during his time at Penn State.

“I was close with Shrive, and all the guys that were doing it before, and I saw what they did and how they put their hearts into it,” Kline says. “The guys on the executive board this year, we’re all close, and we’re thinking about it constantly—how we can grow it, how we can make it better.” Next week’s Lift for Life event is the chapter’s primary fundraiser, but thanks to that constant brainstorming, the team has hosted other events—popping up at Nittany Lion basketball games, or kid-friendly activities at local parks—that provide more opportunities to raise precious funds.

Kline’s on-field status this season is unclear: He missed about half of the Lions’ games last season with injuries, and an unconfirmed report last month implied he might miss more time this fall. But regardless of his impact on the field, Kline has already established himself as one of Penn State’s most valuable players.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

July 1, 2014 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

For Bill O’Brien, Only One Direction To Go

There’s a fine line between careful and blunt—between cautious and direct—and Bill O’Brien has some practice walking it. On Thursday at Penn State’s preseason football media day, he was on the high wire again.

At issue are the competing emotions among so many Penn Staters about where to focus their energy, resources, and attention. In football terms, that means the question of whether to fight or accept harsh NCAA sanctions, whether to dispute or acknowledge the findings those sanctions were based on, and—symbolically, but just as important to some—how to feel about any changes at a football program where the word “tradition” is taken more seriously than almost anywhere else.

On Thursday, O’Brien tread carefully as he acknowledged all of the above; just don’t confuse “carefully” with “evasively.” Asked no fewer than four questions that touched on those themes, O’Brien was clear: He and the football program are moving forward. He hopes Penn Staters will join him.

“I’m very respectful of the traditions here—very respectful,” O’Brien said when asked about adding player names (more…)

August 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm 2 comments


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