Have you ever wondered what exactly it was that convinced a 17 year old athlete that Penn State was the spot for them? Was it a coach, a family tradition or proximity to home?
I asked a few student-athletes and there were a variety of different reasons. Penn State has 19 campuses in the Commonwealth. So, University Park isn’t the only campus that has particularly good athletic program as PSU-Altoona won a conference championship just a year ago.
So, I asked sophomore pitcher Joshua Clark what intrigued him to play ball for Altoona “I chose Altoona because my dad went here and so did my aunts,so it was a no brainer for me. As soon as I was accepted it was a done deal, I knew I was going to play here” said Clark.
Penn State-Harrisburg women’s soccer freshman Allison Trutt said “Location was my reason, I wanted to stay close to home, they had the major I wanted, and it’s a small school.”
With all things considered maybe the fact that Penn State is the 45th ranked University in terms of preference has nothing to do with it at all. So, many things other than athletics can lead someone to the prestigious home of the Nittany Lion.
Obviously we can’t go on without mentioning the single largest philanthropic event held by students in the world, THON. THON is something that every student at Penn state cherishes. Even new head football coach Bill O'Brien is buying into it as he vowed at this year’s event to purchase season tickets to football games for the couple who raised the most money. All proceeds from THON go to the "Four Diamonds Fund for Children’s Cancer research".
Football players have their own event, called "Lift for Life" as every year they lift as many weights as possible to raise money for kidney cancer. Our athletes are more than athletes. They're students, leaders, and philanthropists.
Maybe the chance to help others was a deciding factor. But, what keeps them at Penn State?
"Baseball keeps me here, and so does the Penn State name, nothing has really changed since day one,” said Clark.
Trutt doesn’t seem to mind that she isn’t at the main campus “I stay at Harrisburg because of the professors, the proximity to home, and soccer.”
So, not being at University Park is not a problem for these athletes.
With all of the excitement from at main campus, it’s easy to forget about what goes on at the other campuses.
They are just as proud to be a part of something special , they will restore the roar.
For additional information, follow TJ Acker on twitter.