Nice writup today in the Washington Post about Penn State's big weekend with insight into Darrell Given's decision to decommit from Ohio State and select the Nittany Lions.
As for Givens, it was only three weeks ago that he decided to accept a scholarship offer from Ohio State. However, it did not take long for Givens to consider other options. Lackey Coach Doug Lamb said that Givens contacted Penn State’s coaches around the first of the month to say he was interested and they made a trip to the Southern Maryland school last week.
“I could go into Penn State and make an impact as a freshman, earlier than I would be able to at Ohio State,” Givens said. “After I committed I started looking deeper and deeper into the situation I was putting myself into. Me playing as a freshman was very important.”
So just so we're clear, Givens contacted the Penn State coaches first. Not that I'm saying there's an agreement or anything.
Prices of Gas, Oil, and Cupcakes on the Rise
There is an article in ESPN about the ACC considering expanding to nine game conference schedules. That in itself is interesting since the PAC-10 is the only other conference to play nine conference games. The chances of it happening are remote due to coaches and athletic directors hating the thought of another road game, but I found this part of the article interesting (emphasis mine):
The only other BCS conference that currently plays a nine-game schedule is the Pac-10. The move would ensure half the ACC teams would have a loss -- an instant roadblock to reaching a BCS bowl -- but would ease athletic directors' budgets because of rising costs to buy Division I-AA and mid-major opponents.
Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver wasn't as convinced. Weaver pointed out that the price tags for scheduling MAC teams has increased drastically, and larger-stadium schools like Ohio State have an easier time paying for them. While nine conference games would force teams to play five road games, it would also bring in additional home-game revenue every other year.
Economics may start to dictate teams to look at scheduling tougher opponents. These mid-major and Div. I-AA schools are starting to wise up and realize they becoming are a hot commodity. All the big programs need to fill out their schedules with inferior opponents willing to come take a beating for a paycheck. The cupcakes are wising up and raising their prices to take said beating. If Penn State doesn't want to shell out $400,000 for Buffalo to come to town, no problem. Ohio State or Michigan will. Somebody out there has a slot they need to fill and it's getting harder to fill them.
But where is the tipping point? How high to the prices have to get before the big programs have to look for another option like tougher teams? I don't know the answer, but considering the ACC athletic directors are flat out rejecting the nine game proposal it doesn't sound like we're very close yet. I'm guessing the mid-major schools have to start charging millions before we get to that point.
Can Recruits Donate Money to the NLC?
JoePa has been getting out and about this spring meeting alumni, shaking hands, and collecting checks. This weekend he was in suburban Philadelphia. GoPSUSports shares his itinerary over the next few weeks.
Penn State coaches and administrators will be attending several more events this summer:
- Paterno will be speaking at a breakfast in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 17. The event begins at 8 a.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel and is sponsored by the Penn State Alumni Association. Reservations are required and walk-ins cannot be accommodated. For registration information, go to: http://www.alumni.psu.edu/events/default.htm.
- Paterno will be among the speakers at the 30th Annual Penn State Night on Friday, May 30, hosted by the Greater Scranton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. The event will be held at Genetti Manor in Dickson City. A cash bar begins at 6:00 p.m., and with the dinner and program at 7:00 p.m.
- On Saturday, June 7, Paterno, DeChellis and baseball coach Robbie Wine are scheduled to attend the Central Pennsylvania Nittany Lion dinner at the Radisson in Camp Hill. The reception is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 6:15 p.m.
So Joe is going to Philly, Texas, Scranton, and Harrisburg, but last year he only managed one off campus visit to one recruit a couple hours down the road. Maybe someone has to tell Joe these kids are wealthy donors to get him on a plane and send him out there.