“SDSU Athletic Department Fumbles Ball-Again”
San Diego State is about to wrap up another very good football season, and aside from fans and alums and the media in town, no-one know much about what Rocky Long has accomplished on Montezuma Mesa.
And for the second year in a row, a record setting running back will finish up his career, with very little acclaim, outside the 619-760-858 area codes.
Last year at this time, DJ Humphrey was on the brink of wiping out all the time career rushing record held by Ron Dayne of Wisconsin.
The big play-little guy wound up going north of 6,000-yards rushing to enter the NCAA college football record books.
He got little national acclaim, and not much national recognition though he did experience a trip to the Heisman Trophy ceremony, where he finished out of the running for what has become a quarterback award.
A great player, granted not likely to get much fame in the NFL, where bigger is better.
And now with a game left in the regular season, much the same is happening to Rashaad Penny, who is atop the nation in all purpose yards and in rushing.
He is a big time back, built in the lines of Hershel Walker, and though buried here in the Mountain West Conference, with a bad TV contract, that no one watches around the nation, he too is getting little to no recognition.
The Humphrey-Penny issues are much like the early 1990’s debate that circled around the three years of exploits of Marshall Faulk, who was an electric-iconic player.
He got some national recognition, for big games against USC-UCLA, but his team never won a WAC title, and he never got an invite to New York.
Time to call it as it is.
San Diego State’s Athletic Department has failed miserably to promote its great ones. Not Pumphrey and now surely not Penny.
They pump out volumes of Emails to local media about women’s basketball, soccer, lacrosse and all other sports, none of which get air time, little of which merits more than a sentence or two in the Union Tribune.
Why would you ignore a national push to help Penny’s name get out there, for his work on the field, and to publicize not just the player, but his school.
No we have to spend time talking about the school mascot, and the nickname, and non revenue sports.
College football is king lots of places.
The Aztecs marketing and sports information people seem tone deaf..
Penny in the LA Times. Penny in the San Francisco Chronicle Penny in the New York Times. Penny in the major dailies across the country. A conference call a week with a couple of key national football writers.
You flood those TV networks…ESPN-ESPN 1…Fox Sports-Fox Sports 1….CBS with videos of the kid’s highlife reel.
Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, Bleacher Report and their websites wouldn’t want to tell the story of the star running back in the shadows of big time football?
And then there are the major college websites to spread the word.
I was aghast to get the lists of finalists for various awards, and Rashaad Penny’s name was not to be found on the Doak Walker award list, nor the Maxwell Club award.
Last year they raised a special banner on top of a dorm promoting Pumphrey for the Heisman. It was really cool to see and photograph.
Nothing this year on Penny. Nothing creative utilizing his name “A Penny goes a long way”…..”A Penny for your Heisman thoughts” etc.
You can whine about East Coast bias…or ESPN’s failure to cover the country, but it’s San Diego State’s job to get the message out to anyone-everyone.
No they’d rather swamp me with press releases about women’s cross country.
Shame on marketing. Shame on Sports Information. Where are your priorities.
Rocky Long does not tolerate Aztec turnovers on game-days. His athletic department has blown their responsibility to get Rashaad Penny national recognition for a brilliant career.
SDSU fumbles the ball “again” on another star football player on the stage that really counts….nationwide recognition..