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PSU will host modified Blue-White Game, with first-year students allowed to attend

Photo by Penn State

Penn State announced this afternoon that it will hold a final spring practice inside Beaver Stadium on April 17, although it’s not being called the traditional Blue-White Game.

This year’s final spring practice is being called just that — the final spring practice. The general public will not be allowed to attend, but Penn State is allowing first-year students at the University Park campus to be on hand for the event.

As you can see in AD Sandy Barbour’s quote below, PSU is “hopeful for the fall … and on providing the best opportunity for a full capacity stadium for the Sept. 11 game against Ball State.”

This is from Penn State’s release:

To support the health and safety of attendees and allow for physical distancing protocols, the final spring practice will follow all state and federal guidelines for gatherings and be limited to University Park first-year students, the families and guests of student-athletes, coaches and staff. To provide an opportunity for the broader Penn State community to participate, Athletics will announce plans for a virtual spring practice event, including for Penn State students and the general public, in the coming weeks.

“We are pleased to be able to offer an opportunity for our first-year students to experience Beaver Stadium for the first time as Penn Staters,” Barron said. “Because of the pandemic, these students have missed out on this special tradition of cheering on the Nittany Lions, and we hope this will be a memorable way for them to gather together and celebrate the final practice of the spring. While we are excited to offer this in-person opportunity, students must continue to do their part by following health and safety guidelines to bring this opportunity to fruition.”

“While first-year students have not yet been able to experience Nittanyville or take their spot in the best student section in the country in Beaver Stadium, we are thrilled they will be able participate in many other favorite traditions during this final spring practice, including the team entering the field, the Blue Band playing, cheer and dance squads performing, and the team singing of our beloved Alma Mater,” said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour. “We are hopeful for the fall and continue to focus on the health and safety of our community and on providing the best opportunity for a full capacity stadium for the Sept. 11 game against Ball State.”

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The opportunity to invite first-year students to an in-person spring football practice is part of the University’s phased plan to restore in-person student experiences and to steadily expand organized activities this spring as the pandemic and public health and government guidelines allow. Among these efforts will be a range of outdoor engagement experiences for students as the weather warms, including opportunities for seniors to gather together for commencement ceremonies across Penn State’s campuses in May.

First-year students at University Park will receive direct communication from Penn State Athletics via their Penn State email with details and instructions, including health and safety guidelines, for attending the final spring practice on April 17. Those who attend the final spring practice will be required to wear face masks at all times and to practice physical distancing. In addition, University parking lots will be closed, and tailgating will not be permitted in an effort to minimize congregating.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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