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Penn State fans get hands on athletics gear

Joe Berasley and Brad Smeltz look at a Penn State basketball jersey for sale at the Penn State apparel sale in Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday, April 18, 2015 before the Blue White game.
Joe Berasley and Brad Smeltz look at a Penn State basketball jersey for sale at the Penn State apparel sale in Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday, April 18, 2015 before the Blue White game. CDT photo

Spring cleaning may not technically be a sport, but that didn’t stop Penn State Athletics from turning Pegula Ice Arena into the site of the latest neighborhood garage sale.

Instead of old lamps and dented coffee tables, the inventory at this particular bazaar was geared toward fans who turned out for Saturday’s Blue-White game and featured items both new and used from all of Penn State’s teams.

It’s a sale that was generated by necessity as much as opportunity — after all, even major universities have limited storage space.

“Everyone has a tendency to accumulate things over time,” Morris Kurtz, assistant athletic director for intercollegiate hockey, said.

According to Kurtz, the sale allowed each athletic team the opportunity to clean house and provide fans with access to clothing and other memorabilia they don’t normally have at their fingertips.

Saturday morning, the tables lining the halls at the Pegula Ice Arena were an eclectic collection of attire and equipment. A thick crowd of shoppers sifted through piles of hockey pads, football jerseys and tank tops, occasionally ducking into the corner to try on a T-shirt or fleece. There was even a big and tall section.

“We’ve been trying to make it as efficient as possible,” Glenn Feagley, manager of Lion Surplus, said.

Feagley and his employees were responsible for managing the ever growing line of customers that stretched all the way down the hall, a never ending battle that was nevertheless well fought.

One of the people in line was Penn State alumna Kristin Hesch, who traveled from Erie to attend the Blue-White game. Hesch was waiting to purchase a few T-shirts and a new coat for next football season.

She was impressed with the scope of the sale.

“This was really awesome, and it’s probably good for them to get rid of their stuff and we get to benefit from it,” Hesch said.

The majority of the money from the sale will go back to Penn State Athletics, with a small portion reserved for Lion Surplus. Kurtz was pleased with the turnout.

“In a couple of years we’re going to do it again because it’s just been so much fun,” Kurtz said.

That would be just fine with Penn State freshman Michael Lumley, who heard about the equipment sale from his roommate. Lumley has an eye for vintage sports wear but got off to a late start. More than two hours after the sale began, he was still browsing.

Next time he plans to come earlier.

“I think it’s a really good idea,” Lumley said of the sale.

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