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Iuzzolino right choice for SFU

April 27, 2008
The Altoona Mirror
As a longtime friend, teammate, competitor and fan of Mike Iuzzolino, I cannot think of a better candidate to fill the open head men’s basketball coaching position at St. Francis University.

I have known Mike for more than 30 years dating back to our playing football, basketball and baseball against one another in grade school and junior high school, and as teammates on the 1984-85 Altoona Area High School basketball team that went 27-1.

I traveled from Washington, D.C. on numerous occasions to watch Mike play for St. Francis his junior and senior seasons as well as flying to Dallas four times over Mike’s two-year stint with the Mavericks, and once to Verona, Italy, to watch him play a few games in his first year in the European professional league.

Mike’s work ethic and moral standards are second to none, and I feel any parent of a student-athlete would be more than thrilled to have someone of Mike’s outstanding character and knowledge of the game of basketball to be coaching/mentoring their sons for four years. I know he will make sure they achieve both on the court as well as in the classroom.

As a local business owner and basketball fan, I know I would be personally buying season tickets and joining the Stokes Club if Mike becomes the head coach at St. Francis, as I’m sure numerous other local basketball junkies will do the same.

Tom Hite


Spanier, Curley hurting PSU

Putting off a decision on Joe Paterno’s contract until after this season was the worst thing Graham Spanier and Tim Curley could have done. It is a no-win decision.

The coaches and stability situation is not good for morale, and recruiting is going to suffer big-time. The season-ticket holders and single-game ticket buyers will also be let down.

As a season-ticket holder, I feel Spanier and Curley don’t give a hoot about we season-ticket holders who carry the freight and whose money goes into supporting all of State’s 29 sports programs. And that is the Catch 22: Money and the demand for tickets is coming every year to purchase an inferior product.

Why should these two make a decision now? The bottom line is this: PSU must make a decision to either go and pay top salaries to acquire coaching talent and reduce their academic standards or the program will go in the tank. The old Chinese proverb: He who hesitates is lost.

Let’s enjoy this season and next year if this program is going to gain any ground. After 2010 and beyond, the 2008 and 2009 recruiting seasons will haunt us.

Oh, for the good old days with Dr. Bryce Jordan.

Les Hart


Like first glimpse of Curve

We’re almost through the first month of the Altoona Curve’s 10th anniversary season, and one thing for sure is that it’s going to be a highly entertaining and interesting summer at Blair County Ballpark.

For the first time in Curve history, the team is comprised almost entirely of youngsters getting their first shot at Double-A ball, and they have been looking forward to playing in the most beautiful stadium in all of minor league baseball, and playing for the Curve Nation — truly the best fans in all of baseball.

All of the players have yet to experience the full effect of the support, love and interaction that Curve fans are noted for. As the weather warms and the schools are out for the summer, the crowds will start filling BCB, and these players will see what Curve fans are all about.

We have never reached the 400,000 attendance plateau, but everything considered, this should be the year.

Chuck Greenberg, Todd Parnell (the hardest-working man in all of baseball), Jeff Garner and their staff have gone above and beyond in making the 2008 season slate of promotions the best ever at BCB.

This alone should bring in the fans, but add the fact that this year’s group of young, enthusiastic, ready-to-play ballplayers will go into the record book as our 10th anniversary team, and as such, they deserve every bit of help and support to make 2008 a season they will always remember —win or lose.

I think the other teams in the Southern Division are in for a rude awakening if they believed pre-season reports that our guys would not be up to the kind of ball we have become used to at BCB.

I like what I see in this team, and I’m sure the fans will too as the summer progresses.

Ed Leipold


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