PSU Altoona poised to be playoff venue

Some random thoughts with the (March) madness about to begin:

n This region is blessed with two outstanding facilities at Saint Francis and Mount Aloysius that are used for high school playoff games. Another could be added to the mix next year. Penn State Altoona’s Adler Athletic Complex is currently undergoing a $24 million renovation that will boost its attendance capacity from approximately 700 to 2,000. This year’s District 6 Class 6A championship doubleheader, between Altoona and State College, was played at Tyrone Area High School. Nothing against the people there, but the venue is more gym than fieldhouse with the teams seated on the bleachers, not chairs, and fans crossing in front. Plus there are cooler saunas. Penn State Altoona will be a nice option.

n With the job Rob Krimmel is doing at Saint Francis, you would have to believe it won’t be another 26 years until the Red Flash return to the Northeast Conference title game.

n Penn State will unveil its much-anticipated athletic facilities master plan on Monday, with the most inevitable nugget being an announced reduction in Beaver Stadium’s capacity but one that will still keep it north of 100,000. The biggest question concerns whether a new and smaller basketball facility is planned.

n Pat Chambers, in case you’re wondering, is under contract through 2019.

n Overkill department: Since 100 teams will fill the NCAA and NIT fields, don’t these other tournaments — the CBI and College Basketball Insider — give you an everybody-gets-a-trophy feeling?

n Former SFU men’s coach and Bishop Guilfoyle boys basketball coach Tom McConnell captured his first Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference women’s title by beating California in overtime last weekend. McConnell, who coached the Flash from 1992-99, is 87-29 in four years at the IUP helm.

n The decision of Central standout Alex Hoenstine to join the Penn State football team as a preferred walk-on brings Blair County’s total of Nittany Lion football players to an impressive three, along with Kevin Givens (Altoona) and Zach Simpson (Hollidaysburg).

n I heard an advertisement the other day in which Pete Rose was encouraging people to click an Internet link to support his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s been the longest-running sports debate of my lifetime. Clearly, as a player, the all-time hit king belongs. But since he violated the game’s most cardinal rule — betting on games he was involved in — he’s been blackballed. His lobbying never stops and has totally consumed him. Here’s my solution: Stipulate on Rose’s plaque that he was suspended for gambling and, because it means so much to him, penalize him by announcing that upon his death he’ll be inducted posthumously.

n Condolences to the family and friends of Bill Seidel, a former BG and California (Pa.) linebacking standout who passed away Sunday in Maryland at the age of 58. Seidel, who had a decorated career in law enforcement, set and broke the Cal single-season tackle record three straight years and holds the school’s career mark with 600-plus. He was inducted into the Cal Hall of Fame in 2000.

Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or