Penn State’s Freshmen-Only ‘Blue-White’ Invite Hangs Seniors Out To Dry…Again

All the speculation about a possible Blue-White Game has finally been cleared up, folks.

Penn State Athletics and President Eric Barron announced yesterday that first-year students at University Park will be able to attend Penn State football’s final spring practice at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, April 17.

Barron justified the decision by explaining how first-year students “missed out” on cheering on the Nittany Lions in the fall and said he hopes this will be a “memorable way” for these students to gather and celebrate the final spring practice. Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour added that she’s “thrilled” that first-year students are able to participate.

However, Penn Staters were quick to express their frustration with the decision on Twitter and absolutely slammed the choice to invite only freshmen.

Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, it’s time to get to business. I’m sure a lot of time and thought was put into this decision. I don’t doubt that at all. However, I, and countless others, am struggling to understand how this is the “best” decision Penn State could come to.

What about the seniors? I’m certainly not a senior, but if I was, I’d be pretty upset. The Class of 2021 not only missed out on Blue-White last year and wasn’t able to attend football games during its final year at Penn State, but now seniors can’t even get one last memory with their friends before graduation.

If you do the math, the majority of students graduating this May (or December!) will leave with just two Blue-White games under their belt due to the pandemic. Now, with freshmen being able to attend this year’s Blue-White-esque event, they’ll likely have the opportunity to attend the annual event all four years of their college career.

Let’s touch on the reasoning for the freshmen-only invite, which is that they haven’t been able to experience Beaver Stadium yet and cheer on Penn State football in-person. While that’s certainly true, and, of course, really unfortunate, they’re presumably going to have three more *somewhat normal* years to cheer on Penn State football in person. It would be completely reasonable for them to wait a few more months so seniors can have another memory.

The whole decision comes off tone-deaf to the current state of the senior class, and it’s quite confusing, to say the least.

Some may even argue that sophomores deserve the chance to go more than freshmen, considering the Class of 2023 has never gotten to experience Blue-White before, and it’ll have just two more chances after this year. That’s not to mention the 2+2 students who have never experienced Blue-White, either.

This certainly isn’t to drag down the freshman class, as it’s no fault of its own that this decision was made.

In all seriousness, I understand that freshmen haven’t been able to experience college to the fullest yet and develop a connection to Penn State. I get it, and it absolutely sucks.

Freshmen entered an awful situation, and I really hope they’re able to develop that connection to Penn State very soon. Now that they’ll be at Beaver Stadium on April 17, I hope they have a good time and embrace what Happy Valley has to offer, especially after such a harrowing year.

There could’ve at least been a compromise here, though, where both freshmen and seniors could’ve attended or even been included. I’m sure not every single person in each class planned on going anyway. With Governor Tom Wolf increasing gathering size limits across the state, Beaver Stadium could hold around 50,000 fans at the spring practice. Why not, at the very least, open it up to both freshmen and seniors?

Listen, at the end of the day, it’s just football practice. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? No, it really doesn’t. However, it’s just the principle of not giving your seniors, the students who worked so hard the last four years, one more shot at some fun before heading into the real world. Penn State can, and should, do better.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

After a four-year career with Onward State, Gabe is now a college graduate and off to the real world. He shockingly served as the blog’s managing editor during the 2022-23 school year and covered football for much of his Onward State tenure, including trips to the Outback Bowl and Rose Bowl. For any professional inquiries, please email Gabe at [email protected]. You can still see his bad sports takes on Twitter at @gabeangieri.

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