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B1G crowds: Penn State tops 72k as Buckeyes, Huskers go over 61k

James Franklin

Who says rabid interest in spring football is limited to just the SEC and Deep South?

With a spring game slate featuring a whopping nine schools from the 12-team (for now) conference, Penn State stood head and shoulders above every other Big Ten program as slightly more than 72,000 fans took in the Nittany Lions’ spring closer.  The school came within a few thousand of breaking the program’s spring-game record of 76,500, set in 2009.

A big reason behind the turnout is the enthusiasm generated by new head coach James Franklin and his PSU coaching staff.  After just a handful of months on the job after replacing Bill O’Brien, Franklin and his staff have already been credited with “breathing new life into a program still in recovery mode” from the you-know-who scandal.  Recruiting has picked up to a very brisk pace and, as evidenced by the turnout Saturday, enthusiasm from the fan base appears to be growing at roughly the same clip.

Yes, it’s the spring, but the energy Franklin has brought to Happy Valley is refreshing to see — and well-deserved for a community that’s been doubled over the last couple of years by the one-two hook of the scandal and subsequent NCAA sanctions.

In other Big Ten attendance news, both Nebraska and Ohio State saw crowds in excess of 61,000 for their respective spring games.  The former had an exact total of 61,772 — 61,773 if you count the cat — while the latter was announced at just over the 61,000-fan mark.  The total for the Buckeyes may be a bit of a disappointment to head coach Urban Meyer, who had been hoping to see 85,000-plus pack the Horseshoe and put on a show for recruits; OSU didn’t help that cause by initially charging $20 for what amounts to nothing more than a glorified practice session with referees.

While the school ultimately dropped the price to $5 a head, it was seemingly too little, too late to get to the number for which Meyer had hoped.

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19 Responses to “B1G crowds: Penn State tops 72k as Buckeyes, Huskers go over 61k”
  1. barkleyblows says: Apr 12, 2014 5:37 PM

    Can’t believe anyone thought it was a good idea to charge $20 for a spring game.

  2. buckeyebred says: Apr 12, 2014 6:14 PM

    Charging $20 for a glorified scrimmage is insane. Then to drop the price to $5. Do the people making decisions in Ohio Stare’s athletic department think we are stupid. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. The Spring Game for many people is the only opportunity for a family to first get access to tickets and second to be able to afford them.
    I am ashamed of my school and of those that make these redo culprits decisions.

  3. buckeyebred says: Apr 12, 2014 6:19 PM

    * Ridiculous decisions

  4. buckeyebred says: Apr 12, 2014 6:22 PM

    I am ashamed of the money grabbing image that is perceived by the general public about OSU.
    The $ COMES FIRST Ohio State University.

  5. lbijake says: Apr 12, 2014 7:03 PM

    @buckeye bred.

    Good posts Agree with sentiments. Somethings should just be free.

    -Penn State Alum

    ———————————————————-Love the phrase

    “I am ashamed of my school and of those that make these redo culprits decisions.
    Don’t know what a redo culprit is but sounded perfect.

  6. auburntigers34 says: Apr 12, 2014 7:34 PM

    Once they realized that this was a huge mistake, i guess they were too greedy to make up for their blunder by letting fans in for free.

    Meyer could have gotten closer to the 85k that he was hoping to see and OSU wouldn’t look so money hungry right now.

    but nope….gotta get that $5.

  7. clevelandschronic2 says: Apr 12, 2014 8:13 PM

    To every meyer hater out there heres what you should know. Urban had no idea what the cost of a ticket was, his wife heard the cost then told him it was outrageous to charge 20$ So he told administrators to lower the cost and they did. But like the article stated it wasnt until thursday(i believe) so it was to little to late. Everyone just looking for a reason to spew more hate at urban and the buckeyes need to check facts.

  8. freerayray52 says: Apr 12, 2014 8:37 PM

    I hope they donated the money to charity

  9. buckeyebred says: Apr 12, 2014 8:59 PM

    I meant to say . . . “make these ridiculous decisions.” but auto spell correction bit me.
    I am not a Meyer hater or hate anyone at all. I never expected Urban to be involved with setting ticket prices. My beef is with the upper brass of the Athletic Dept. You demonstrated very very poor judgement. Please think twice in the future. Perhaps next year we can get 85 or 90 thousand fans to cheer on our Buckeyes if you don’t gouge them on the ticket price! Go Bucks!

  10. chex1868 says: Apr 12, 2014 11:42 PM

    OSU AD Gene Smith is a moron

  11. steeler1nation says: Apr 12, 2014 11:51 PM

    Gene Smith is inept. Too bad he’ll never be fired; because of his skin color he gets a free pass.

  12. floridacock says: Apr 13, 2014 7:58 AM

    Spring has sprung, and after that winter, I’m surprised more people were not out there. What else is there to do?

  13. dkhhuey says: Apr 13, 2014 10:28 AM

    That was not the brightest move on OSU’s part to assume college kids and family would pay $20 a pop to watch a practice! I’m glad the Meyers stepped up to call that out! I’m guessing they will not make that same idiotic decision next year! I am elated that BTN picked up the coverage so I could watch it up here in The Great White North!

  14. polegojim says: Apr 13, 2014 10:41 AM

    DK – … so you finally moved to Michigan?

    I guess programs with those smaller stadiums could really use the extra $$$!

  15. handsofsweed says: Apr 13, 2014 12:12 PM

    So what’s Michigan’s excuse for only putting 15 K in the stands for their spring game last week? $150 tickets? A blizzard? Deer hunting season? Watching the Final Four games?


  16. sprintfan1 says: Apr 13, 2014 1:15 PM

    A great day in Happy Valley. A nice statement of support by the fans.

  17. dkhhuey says: Apr 13, 2014 6:11 PM

    @Pole – Bwwaaa haa haa!!! That made me almost spit out my beer! We got tired of the beautiful sunny warm weather in Scottsdale so we moved up to Toronto!

  18. jeweiseman says: Apr 14, 2014 7:40 AM

    Here’s an interesting irony: the NCAA doesn’t want to pay players–that would run contrary to amateurism–but Division I schools like OSU are more than happy to charge fans $20 a seat to watch their favorite players at spring games. It’s time to give these kids their fair due with some sort of compensation; it’s not right that universities make millions off of them while they practice all day, study all night, and get nothing extra in their pockets to help with their college expenses.

  19. normtide says: Apr 14, 2014 12:54 PM

    When Alabama first packed the stadium for a spring game, B1G fans actually made fun of Bama fans. Who is laughing now? By the way, Bama’s spring game is free to attend.

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