Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — Athletic director Danny White is in a New York State of mind outlining his ambitious plan to raise the Buffalo’s national profile.
Since New York is already part of the school’s official name, White figures why not emphasize it? If Berkeley’s Golden Bears can refer to themselves as California, then there’s no reason why the State University of New York at Buffalo can’t one day be regarded as simply “New York.”
“New York state’s one of the most powerful state’s in the country. And we don’t see any reasons why we should run away from our position in the state,” White said. “So when we think about, ‘Can we turn this into America’s next big-time college athletics brand?’ I think that there’s a possibility that we can.”
Don’t laugh. White’s serious about rebranding a program that has struggled competing in the Mid-American Conference, let alone made much of a dent in the national landscape since making the jump to the Division I-A level in 1999.
In the one year since taking over, the 33-year-old White, and son of Duke AD Kevin White, has begun unveiling the new vision.
New York is spelled out in large capital letters on the breast of the new Nike-designed Bulls collared shirt White wears. And it’s a theme most prominently featured on the recently repainted Alumni Arena basketball court, on which a map of the entire state is spread across center court.
White doesn’t intend to lose the name Buffalo, and doesn’t consider the emphasis of New York as a knock against the city.
“It’s certainly not a negative on Knoxville to have the Tennessee Volunteers, or Ann Arbor to have the Michigan Wolverines,” he said. “I think it’s only good for the city of Buffalo, for western New York and for our institution if we establish more of a national brand and get more nationally relevant as an athletic department.”