Thursday, January 20, 2011

For The Record, I Did No Work This Morning

I got a Google Alert link to this today - a full half hour, minus commercials, with Joe Battista from a show called For The Record that airs on WHVL in State College and is hosted by Jed Donahue. Nice.

When did this originally record and air? No idea. It was sometime before The Big Chill at the Big House, which was mentioned in the future tense during the interview, and sometime after September 17th. I just know that it was posted by GoPSUTV on YouTube yesterday, exposing it to my obsessiveness.

Since I don't live in WHVL's broadcast area and didn't hear about it anywhere else, it's new to me, and probably to most of you too. If you don't want to watch the whole thing out of interest, because you have to blog about it, or both, here are some highlights.

The first segment was mostly about how Battista became familiar with Terry Pegula through Pegula's son attending PSU's hockey camp, the building of the friendship in the few years after, and the acceleration of the donation process once Shell dropped a few billion dollars Pegula's way. We already know that story.

Next (segment starting 6:48 in), Battista discussed the Pegula Center (might as well keep using that name until the other one's official).
  • He gave a date of "fall 2013" for its opening, barring unforeseen circumstances. It's always been reported "fall 2013-spring 2014," so I guess this is news.
  • Battista: "We can't just suddenly play Division I hockey against Minnesota and Wisconsin and Michigan and Boston College and Notre Dame, we've got to ramp it up." Reading between the lines, I wouldn't expect a schedule littered with names those first two independent seasons. Maybe we can make one more trip to Bird Arena in our fresh Nike swag to show them who sucks.
  • They've held discussions with both the Penguins and Flyers about holding training camp and exhibition games there. What, no Sabres?
  • Among the other activities that may be held there: speed skating, curling and broomball (obviously), but also commencement and basketball (less obviously). Battista is particularly excited about duplicating Miami's vast intramural broomball program. So am I though, don't hate.
Finally (segment starting 14:46 in), the interview got more into the formation of the program, the coaching hire, etc.
  • Battista envisions four to five scholarships per team (men's and women's) in 2012-2013 - "you can't just give out 18 scholarships in the first year, because you have nothing to give."
  • The number of inquiries from potential student-athletes is "amazing." Battista believes that many will choose to play an extra year of junior or prep just to hit PSU as freshmen in year one.
  • "May" was given as the coaching hire date. This, as far as I can remember, is an update from "after the Frozen Four."

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