It’s back to the gridiron for us Cornellians, both as students and as fans of that great American tradition — football. But the NFL has been closer to Ithaca during the offseason than you might think.
The New York Jets came to nearby Cortland, N.Y., over the summer for training camp, staying in the area from July 31 to Aug. 22. With only one more game left on the preseason schedule before New York’s opener at Houston Sept. 13, the Jets named highly touted first-round draft pick Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback just last week.
Cornell was a stone’s throw away from hosting the New York Jets for their summer training camp, but officials announced yesterday that the National Football League team chose to spend the summer at SUNY Cortland instead, according to the Associated Press.
Apart from Cornell, Utica College and Marist College in Poughkeepsie were also on the shortlist of possible summer training camp for the football franchise. The team may also plan some public sessions at their Florham Park center in New Jersey and former preseason home on Long Island, the A.P. reported.
“Cortland acted quickly and had all the ingredients to make it really doable here,” Jets owner Woody Johnson told reporters at a news conference.
Yesterday, New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini officially named Chad Pennington as the team’s starting quarterback for the upcoming season, thus ending the unheard of four-man competition for the job. It would make quite a story if Pennington were able to resurrect his career and reclaim his position as the franchise quarterback, but considering the current state of Jets football, it seems at this point unlikely.