Stony Brook Univ. is "hoping to build on the attention its baseball team is getting with its first-ever appearance in the College World Series" by producing a 30-second TV spot that will air Friday on ESPN2 during the school's game against UCLA, according to Frank Eltman of the AP. Stony Brook President Sam Stanley said that the school is spending $100,000 to produce and air the ad, which "boasts about its achievements in athletics and academics." Stanley said, "We felt compelled to respond to the overwhelming demand for information on Stony Brook" (AP, 6/14). The AP's Eric Olson noted Stony Brook has "gotten the rock-star treatment" since beating LSU to qualify for the CWS. Despite Kent State, a three-seed, making the CWS for the first time in school history, Stony Brook's trip has "become the feel-good story of the summer in sports" (AP, 6/14). An NCAA official said that he has "never seen a team draw the kind of pre-College World Series media crush that Stony Brook generated Thursday" during its press conference. BASEBALL AMERICA's Aaron Fitt noted the apparel tents outside TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha have seen Stony Brook merchandise "flying off the shelves," and the school is an "Omaha sensation" before the CWS even begins. In other years, Kent State "would surely be the fan favorite." Instead, Kent State was "bemused to arrive in Omaha and discover NCAA-licensed merchandise sporting the name 'Kentucky State'" (BASEBALLAMERICA.com, 6/14).
The annual rivalry game between the Cincinnati and Xavier men's baketball teams "will return in December with a new name, new venue and a renewed focus on positively impacting the city," according to Shannon Russell of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. School officials Thursday announced The Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic "will be played at U.S. Bank Arena for the next two years on a trial basis with annual reassessments." The new-look series features "a new logo and a beneficiary in the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which will receive a portion of the ticket sales divided equally between the schools." The joint announcement came "nearly six months after a bench-clearing brawl ruined Xavier's 76-53 win" over Cincinnati at Cintas Center, and prompted "player suspensions from both teams and forced officials to re-evaluate a rivalry that began in 1928." Neither Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin nor Xavier coach Chris Mack "were opposed to playing future games on the neutral court." Both Cincinnati AD Whit Babcock and Xavier AD Mike Bobinski "have had experience in major rivalries played at neutral sites." Xavier President Father Michael Graham "pointed to other neutral-site rivalries as a reason the Classic can succeed before large fan bases from Cincinnati and Xavier" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/15).