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How about some college coverage?

| Sunday, March 25, 2001

Nice job by the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) with the PIAA basketball finals this weekend. It was wall-to-wall coverage. The station has a lot of interesting stuff periodically.

May I respectively suggest, however, that while the network has done yeoman work on high school sports at all levels, it has completely neglected the state university system with respect to athletics. At least that's how it seems to me.

Why would the network neglect college athletics• I do not know. If PCN, like most broadcast outlets, is looking for product, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (SSHE) schools could provide some fodder.

Bloomsburg's football team played for the NCAA Division II football title last fall. The year before, Indiana (Pa.) made the NCAA Division II national semifinals in football. I heard and saw nothing on PCN about it.

IUP and Slippery Rock, along with Millersville and West Chester, have been consistent NCAA Division II football playoff participants. Players like Jim Haslett (IUP), Chris Villarial (IUP), John Jones (IUP), Leander Jordan (IUP), John Mobley (Kutztown), Andre Reed (Kutztown), Ricky Porter (SRU), Chuck Sanders (SRU), Lorenzo Coleman (SRU), Lee Woodall (West Chester) and Ralph Tamm (West Chester) have all come out of small Pennsylvania schools to play in the National Football League. But has PCN ever done anything concerning athletics in the SSHE - the 14 state-owned universities• Not that I'm aware.

PCN has done almost as good a job of ignoring these institutions as the governors and legislators of this commonwealth have done on a consistent basis over the years. If it seems I am whining, make no mistake, I am - big time with full intent.

How about the highly successful wrestling programs at Clarion, Lock Haven and Edinboro• They've produced national champions at the Division I level and an Olympic gold medal winner in Kurt Angle. Further, the California (Pa.) and IUP men, along with the Shippensburg women, have been consistent Division II basketball playoff participants, going as far as the Elite Eight. In the instance of the Shippensburg ladies, this week they made the national semifinals before losing 76-67 to North Dakota. Oh, and should I mention that renowned basketball coach John Calipari played at Clarion• And, lest we forget the Golden Eagles also produced a Cy Young Award winner in Pete Vukovich.

How can PCN give so much attention to Class A and AA high schools and ignore the state universities who have over 85,000 (at least) students and hundreds of thousands of alumni, most of whom are Pennsylvanians•

When I heard the PCN announcers raving about the girls Class AA basketball final between Vincentian and Trinity on Friday afternoon, I thought, 'That's nice. They're saying good things about the kids. Wonderful.'

My next thought, however, was, 'Have they ever seen the top-notch athletic events in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference• Why don't they ever show those young people, most of whom are Pennsylvanians?'

It's nothing against small school districts. But, showing me Vincentian vs. Trinity in high school basketball, even if it is a championship game, while ignoring the state universities funded by Pennsylvanians makes no sense to me.

Also raising my ire at what is probably a very good group of people at PCN was a graphic promoting a profile of Temple basketball coach John Chaney. Hey, that's cool. Chaney is an excellent coach, a good man, and he offers an interesting story. But, what about state-owned schools instead of the ones like Temple, Pitt and Penn State, which are only state-related and are really controlled by their own boards of trustees•

How come they get all the publicity•

Aw, there I go again. Whining.

I shall continue.

Later.

I promise.

Goose Goslin is sports director for KDKA-AM (1020).

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