Penn State

Penn State restructures Intercollegiate Athletics

Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour speaks in her office in December. The university has announced a restructuring of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour speaks in her office in December. The university has announced a restructuring of Intercollegiate Athletics. CDT photo

Penn State Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour is continuing to make changes in her department.

On Monday, Barbour announced changes designed to create “a more vertical structure, which will encourage communication and collaboration across business units and sports.”

The changes include separating the department into four administrative divisions: business and finance; student-athlete performance, health and welfare; internal and external operations; and administration.

“We are building what we feel is the best structure for Penn State athletics for the present and future,” Barbour said in a statement. “We are moving in a direction that will effectively serve our most important stakeholders, our student-athletes, while employing a contemporary business model to engage and provide value to our fans. This strategic move will allow us to modernize our business while taking a national leadership role in intercollegiate athletics.”

The new plan puts everyone involved with actual sports and athletics under one defined umbrella. According to the department, this division “combines the expertise of existing staff to leverage opportunities to best serve our student-athletes.”

Another new creation, a Creative Services and Brand Management unit, “will allow these professionals to focus on existing and new assets to best serve the entire department and external stakeholders.”

“I have been so impressed by the people in Intercollegiate Athletics in my short time at Penn State,” Barbour’s statement said. “There is a tremendous sense of pride, passion and integrity in the way our staff conducts its business, keeping what is best for our student-athletes at the forefront of our daily operations. This move will enable us to better position our staff, coaches and key stakeholders as we continue to provide the very best conditions for success for our student-athletes.”

Men’s volleyball

Russell, Callaway honored by EIVA

Following an impressive trip to the West Coast, Penn State swept the weekly awards from the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association on Monday.

Aaron Russell was named Offensive Player of the Week and Matt Callaway was selected as the Defensive Player of the Week.

The No. 10 Nittany Lions (9-9) racked up three 3-0 sweeps last week against No. 7 Southern California, No. 15 Cal State-Northridge and No. 9 Long Beach State, extending their win streak to five straight.

Russell had a huge match against the Trojans, with 20 kills on 25 swings with just two errors to hit .720. For the week, he put down 55 kills on .537 hitting with eight aces, 22 digs and four blocks.

Callaway had 13 total kills on .458 hitting, adding 13 blocks including seven against the 49ers.

Also Monday, the EIVA announced its fourth Hall of Fame class, with three set for induction during the EIVA Championship finals on May 1. The match and ceremony will be held at the home of the tournament’s No. 1 seed.

The list is highlighted by former Nittany Lion Javier Gaspar, a three-time All-American while with the team from 1985-88.

Field hockey

Gebhart’s classwork honored

Penn State’s Laura Gebhart was honored as a 2014 Gladiator by SGI/NFHCA Scholar of Distinction on Monday.

The community and environment development major posted a 3.90 grade-point average and was one of 79 NCAA Division I field hockey student-athletes to accomplish the feat, and the only one who also was a first-team NFHCA All-American.

She posted 10 goals and seven assists last fall for the Nittany Lions.

Men’s gymnastics

Torres earns award

Penn State’s Alex Torres was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week on Monday.

The junior earned five top-five finishes, including first-place efforts in the high bar and still rings, in a second-place team finish in a meet with Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. Torres also earned the all-around title with an 89.500 total.

Women’s gymnastics

Tseng wins again

Penn State’s Briannah Tseng was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday for the fourth time this season.

Tsang posted scores of 9.9 on the vault and 9.825 in the floor exercise along with a 39.300 all-around total in a meet with Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Rutgers on Saturday.