By BOB DICESARE
Think of Penn State University and you probably think of the system’s flagship school in State College, Pa., not Penn State-Behrend or Penn State-Altoona.
Think of Ohio State University and surely the location that comes to mind is Columbus, not the satellites in Lima, Mansfield or Newark.
But when people outside of Buffalo think of the State University of New York, who knows what they’re thinking? Are we talking Binghamton? Albany? Stony Brook? Or any of the other schools that comprise the SUNY system?
The absence of a a clear-cut flagship entity and the opportunity to lay claim to being "The" State University of New York has been the motivation behind a movement within the University at Buffalo athletic department first reported on The Buffalo News “Campus Watch” blog in early April.
Athletic administrations have downplayed the ongoing changes, insisting it’s not a rebranding of UB athletics. Call is what you will, changes are happening and the evidence has become increasingly visible.
Invitations to next year’s football opener at Ohio State sent out of the office of AD Danny White played up the “New York” aspect of the university over its Buffalo location (see letterhead below).
But perhaps the biggest change to this point concerns the ongoing resurfacing of the floor at Alumni Arena, which includes a image of New York State at center court (see below).
Look for this all to be part of a greater initiative -- the athletic department version of UB 2020 -- aimed at growing general awareness while generating a greater affinity among alumni, many of whom reside in the New York City and Washington, D.C., areas. And that could be no small triumph if, down the road, UB makes a push to join one of the elite conferences. UB's value as a TV partner increases if UB athletics cultivates a following among its vast alumni base along the Eastern Seaboard.
As it is, UB is currently the only AAU Research institution in the country whose athletic teams play outside one of the five major conferences.
taggedMid-American Conference | Mid-Majors | University at Buffalo