"We all go, or no one goes." That's what Penn State told its opponents in the 1948 Cotton Bowl when they were asked to leave Penn State's two African-American players off the gameday squad. That stand for respect is clear again as the Nittany Lions of Penn State University join You Can Play in working to recognize the contributions LGBT athletes, coaches and fans in sports. "…If you can bring heat…make it rain…snipe…you can play."
A longtime college sports powerhouse, the NCAA Division I school competes in the Big Ten in most sports. Penn State holds national championships in sports as diverse as football and boxing, men's gymnastics and men's and women's fencing. Wrestling and both men's and women's volleyball also have brought the school championships.
The University's sports alumni is a Who's Who of NBA, NFL, MLB and other professional players. The alumni include out basketball player John Amaechi, NFL players including Rosey Grier, WNBA player Helen Darling and Olympians in sports from wrestling to diving. The impressive list of Penn State administrators, coaches, and athletes appearing include Amanda Lehotak (Head Coach, softball), Sandy Barbour (Athletic Director), Guy Gadowsky (Head Coach, men’s ice hockey), Coquese Washington (Head Coach, women’s basketball), Jan Bortner (Assistant Athletic Director), Rob Cooper (Head Coach, baseball), Greg Nye (Head Coach, men’s golf), Jeff Thompson (Head Coach, women’s gymnastics), Ann Cook (Associate Head Coach, women’s soccer), Patrick Chambers (Head Coach, men’s basketball), Dr. Eric Barron (President, Penn State University), Gina Kearns (Assistant Coach, women’s ice hockey), James Franklin (Head Coach, football), Missy Doherty (Head Coach, women’s lacrosse), Chris Cagle (Head Coach, women’s tennis), Charlene Morett-Curtiss (Head Coach, field hockey), Russ Rose (Head Coach, women’s volleyball), Erica Walsh (Head Coach, women’s soccer), Mark Pavlik (Head Coach, men’s volleyball), Charmelle Green (Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator), Jeff Tambroni (Head Coach, men’s lacrosse), Damon Sims (Vice President of Student Affairs), John Amaechi (Men’s basketball, PSU ’94 Alum), Josh Brandwene (Head Coach, women’s ice hockey), Chad Duernberger (Assistant Coach, men’s soccer), Denise St. Pierre (Head Coach, women’s golf), James Coates (student athlete, baseball), Rebecca Stanley (student athlete, fencing), Victoria Waldner (student athlete, women’s basketball), Donovan Jack (student athlete, men’s basketball), and Allison Subasic (Director, LGBTA Student Resource Center).
"…There's a protection there, there's a level of respect for the game."