By Bob DiCesare
We showed you the first pictures of UB's ongoing floor resurfacing -- including the New York State image at center court -- last week. Now the athletic department has released a rendering of how things will look when the job is complete. As we first reported in early April, AD Danny White plans to emphasize the "New York State" aspect of the university in an effort to grow public awareness and alumni affinity.
We've seen New York emphasized on new letterhead (see Saturday's Campus Watch Blog: UB or not UB, Part II) and it'll carry over to the football uniforms probably beginning with the first home game or the first ESPN televised game.
A move of this nature has been discussed within the athletic department dating to White's predecessor, Warde Manuel. White -- whose chief talents are marketing and fundraising -- reintroduced the concept and decided it was time to move forward. And fast.
My first reaction when I heard about this back in March was typical Buffalonian resistance: "We're happy being Buffalo, we don't have to be anything else."
But the concept has grown on me. The people of Columbus are fine being home to The Ohio State University. The folks in Ann Arbor feel the same way about the University of Michigan. Instead of being the focus -- and let's face it, our city doesn't carry the best reputation on a national scale -- Buffalo merely becomes the recognized location of New York's flagship state university. It's like having the benefit of the "New York" brand minus the traffic headaches.
Coaches have been selling UB that way for years, and particularly in the early days of its Mid-American Conference affiliation. Recruits would ask "Is Buffalo a big school?" and "Is it even Division I?" Former assistant basketball coach Jim Kwitchoff once told me he would bridge that gap by explaining UB is to New York as Ohio State is to Ohio. Tthe name adjustment that's in the works should eventually eliminate any lingering disconnect.
"As we continue to build on the potential that UB has on a local, regional and national level, this new court design will not only protect the past, but also embrace the tremendous opportunities that New York State provides our institution," White said in a release. "As fans are watching our games in Alumni Arena, we want the message to serve as a reminder that UB is not just a great institution in the city of Buffalo, but it also ranks as the largest and most comprehensive public university in the state and the only Division I FBS program in the SUNY system. With an alumni base that reaches across New York, we felt it was time to capitalize on our status in the Empire State, similar to our peer AAU institutions that compete at the FBS level across the country."
taggedMid-American Conference | University at Buffalo