Illinois' Advertisement for Penn State Game is Highly Controversial

By Renae Juska

Since yesterday was Valentine’s Day, many college basketball teams ran ticket specials to promote future games. The University of Illinois ran a special yesterday: two tickets for $25 for the Illini’s game against the  Penn State Nittany Lions on Feb. 21.

However, they chose quite the controversial photo to represent the promotion. The e-mail sent to fans included a picture of head coach, John Groce hugging his shirtless son. Now, if this were any other season or any other opponent, I wouldn’t consider this that big of a deal.

With the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal this past year, you’d think the Illinois box office would have enough common sense to not put a picture of a shirtless little boy on their promotional ad. Whoever came up with this design is already seeing a lot of hate from sports fans across the nation.

Whether it was intentional or not, this advertisement was extremely tacky on Illinois’ part. I’m not sure who is in charge of media or public relations, but they may want to reconsider their advertisements in the future. Illinois claims the ad went through multiple people and none of them saw a problem with it.

I’m also sure that Illinois head coach John Groce doesn’t appreciate the criticism that the advertisement is receiving, especially since he probably had no participation in making the ad. It’s a great father-and-son moment on camera, but not the best photo to choose for a Valentine’s Day special for next week’s game against Penn State.

The Illinois fans don’t seem to think that this is a big issue, but I think they need to reconsider the Sandusky case and how it affected the nation.

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