WATKINS GLEN -- Turner Gill is at Watkins Glen International today as the grand marshal of today's Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen.
I'm stopping by from the Sports, Ink blog (where we'll be blogging live during the race) to relay many of his comments from his prerace press conference:
On the similarities of auto racing and college football:
"The bigges thing is the pregame excitement, it’s going on really early -- 3 or 4 hours before the actual event is taking place, so that’s very similar to college football."
On success bringing appearances like this:
"Getting the recognition of that [MAC Championship] is an honor and a privilege to recognize this great university, and also this game of college football. Probably in general, New York State is probably from a football standpoint more for pro teams. … To get recognition for college football is great.
"There’s no doubt winning the MAC Championship gave us tremendous exposure. My athletic director was kidding me about that we couldn’t spend enough money to get the of exposure we’ve gotten over the last six months. It’s great for people to understand our great University at Buffalo, a great research institution, also now an outstanding football program. But we’re rising in a lot of other sports with our AD Warde Manuel.
"Recruiting has definitely been easier. I don’t have to go into homes and schools now and tell everyone now that we are a Division I football school. I used to have to go in there and explain Division I, Division II, Division III, people asked me those type of questions. Now I can go on and get right to the heart of our school and what we’re all about.
"Recruiting is definitely a lot easier. It’s still somewhat difficult, because you’re competing with some of the big schools, the Penn States, the Rutgers, the Syracuses and so on and so forth. But now we’re able to get our share. People now at least listen to us and give us an opportunity to share what we have to offer at the Unviersity at Buffalo.
On appearances like today's and throwing out the first pitch at a Cleveland Indians game:
"It’s another recruiting tool – it’s another opportunity for the University at Buffalo to get our name out there in July. That hasn’t happened in the past, so it’s great to do that. It’s great that Camping World give me opportunity to get more exposure. We’re going to take advantage of that to help our university academically and also athletically."
taggedCollege football | Mid-American Conference | University at Buffalo