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Why I Should Be Penn State’s Next Athletic Director

Dear Sandy Barbour,

I hope you’re doing well.

My name is Frankie Marzano, and I am a junior at Penn State and currently enrolled in the Integrated Master of Accounting Program. I recently heard that you will soon be retiring from your position as athletic director vice president for intercollegiate athletics, and that’s what brings me here, writing to you today.

Based on my past experiences (and the fact that I’m proficient in Microsoft Excel), I think that I would be the perfect candidate for this role. I know that this may be President-elect Dr. Neeli Bendapudi’s decision, but maybe you can put in a good word for me. Here is why:

I’ve Stuck With Penn State For My Entire Life

Most people at Penn State might have bled blue and white since birth, but nobody has like me.

Circa 2012

Growing up in a family full of Nittany Lions, I always knew that I was going to end up in Happy Valley, even through all of the bad times.

From running the ball on 4th & 5 against Ohio State to being forced to watch Mario Manningham’s game-winning touchdown reception in 2005 to even a heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame in the 2019 Big Ten Hockey Tournament, I’ve been here through it all. That’s perseverance and dedication at its finest — skills an AD would need to sustain success throughout a few dozen athletic programs.

I Am A Business Man

From looking at your Wikipedia page, I can see that you have a master’s degree from UMass Amherst. Luckily, I will have one of my own in a few short years!

As a student in the Smeal College of Business’ Integrated Master of Accounting program, I will graduate in just two years with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting. This will allow me to obtain the esteemed CPA certification. You might ask yourself, “Why does that matter?” Well, at the end of the day, one of the main goals of running a business is to generate profit and minimize costs. I can help with that.

For example, the first thing I would do as Penn State’s new athletic director is cut down James Franklin’s personal use of a private jet. Based on the equation that I learned in ACCTG 211 — Revenue – Expenses = Net Income — minimizing the expenses from Franklin’s private jet usage will immediately boost profits! That’s the magic of accounting.

I Know The Numbers

As the determined student I am, I’ve already taken the liberty of analyzing the department’s latest financial statements. I bet there isn’t another candidate for the job that can perform the sophisticated financial analysis quite like I have.

I Have Coaching & Leadership Experience

In some ways, being an athletic director is like being a coach and a mentor, and I know what that feels like. I was the coach of the junior varsity basketball team at Holy Family Regional School in Commack, New York. Our team went into the last game of the season at 1-10, with our only victory coming as a forfeit when the opposing team’s bus broke down on the way to our gym. But it’s not about how you start…It’s about how you finish.


An important part of becoming a leader is being able to rally others, which I am doing in the picture above. I gave the most electric pregame speech of all time, and our players played their hearts out to barely squeeze out a victory. There may have been a very bad missed call when one of our players pulled down the player taking a game-tying shot, but hey! A win is a win.

I Already Have Goals Set For The Job

If I’m going to interview for a job, I need to come prepared. So, I decided to come up with a few things I’d get done upon taking the helm. First, I would move the men’s and women’s basketball teams out of the Bryce Jordan Center. They should never have moved away from Rec Hall in the first place. Second, I would abolish the faulty Ticketmaster system that we use to sell student football tickets. Instead, I would simply implement a lottery system that allows everyone a fair share at seeing their Nittany Lions go 7-6 in person.

Finally, and most importantly, I am going to raise the funds to completely rebuild Beaver Stadium. “How are you going to do that?” you might ask. Well, I have a one-word answer for you: Bitcoin.

I Am Determined

When I set my mind to do something, I always give it my all. For example, there was a time when I said I wanted to play 18 holes at Penn State’s White Course in under two hours. Everybody said it was impossible. But do you know what I did? I put my mind to it and proved all the haters wrong by playing the White Course in (an unofficial) record time of one hour and 52 minutes. I even shot a 77 in the process!

In conclusion, I think I am the perfect candidate for the job. I’ll be waiting for my invitation to interview.



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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected].

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