It wasn't a banner PR weekend for the Penn State athletic department.
On Saturday, thirty fans were turned away at the ticket windows of the Bryce Jordan Center due to the arena being "at capacity" despite the upper bowl being completely empty and curtained off. The athletic department continually monitors ticket sales and was not expecting the turnout that occurred on Saturday, even though a charity event for Team Ream was taking place that day. The department released a statement last night regretting the situation and said that they would provide free tickets and refunds on parking for those who were affected.
The policy is meant to have fans fill the lower bowl first before sitting in the upper deck to create the home-court advantage that Pat Chambers desires. While on the surface, this strategy makes sense, you can't be turning away fans because you can't be bothered to pull a few curtains out of the way. And the problem only becomes magnified when hundreds of dollars that could have been put towards charity were lost out on. Here's to hoping the department figures out how to rectify its policy for the rest of the season.
Athletic Director Sandy Barbour had her own individual snafu when she responded to a Michigan grad on Twitter that the "409" stickers that were put on the men's hockey team's helmets on Friday night were "inappropriate and insensitive". It was certainly a departure from her normal interactions on Twitter as she has been the first to have the department and Joe Paterno's back, even giving kudos the decision to restore the 112 previously vacated Penn State football victories on Friday. #PSUTwitter let her have it as #PSUTwitter does. You can go see the mentions yourself if you'd like.
Kevin Horne of Onward State wrote a very thoughtful piece on the situation last night and I will echo his sentiments. There was nothing inappropriate about the stickers, but to consistently attack and berate every Penn State-related person that doesn't fall in line with those who are most vocal is going to run out people who truly care about the university. Those that are the most vocal say that Penn State is all class. It might be about time some start showing it.
In other news:
- We have two Penn Staters going to the Super Bowl after the Seahawks' come-from-behind victory over the Packers yesterday. It's the 44th Super Bowl with at least one former Nittany Lion playing. If you still haven't seen Garry Gilliam's touchdown catch, you can see it here.
- Highly-rated NJ OT Sam Madden decommitted from Wisconsin last week. Maize and Brew caught up with his father and got some interesting information on the academic entrance standards in Madison.
- Flavor Flav was in the BJC on Saturday to watch his cousin Shep Garner play. As someone who still has a mix CD in his car with Public Enemy songs on it, I was so damn jealous.
- A real sad story that I read about in the local paper this morning: You may remember the story of an Alabama fan hanging a flag at the Kyle Field construction here at A&M this summer. Turns out, after being fired, he couldn't get another job and ended up committing suicide. His family talks about his battle with depression in the Bryan-College Station Eagle. Let's keep our rivalries light-hearted, y'all.
- The 2014 BSD Reader Awards Coach Of The Year: Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer
- MMQB: What Is Your Favorite "Penn State In The NFL" Moment?
- Closing The Gap: How Does Penn State Rejoin College Football's Elite?
- Penn State Hockey Defeats Michigan State, 5-2, Behind More Strong Play From Top Line
- Purdue 84, Penn State 77 (OT): Boilermakers Boil Lions Down into Lion Stew, Drink It