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January 22, 1999

Penn State to Host 1999 Pigskin Classic -- Will Face Arizona

Cleveland, Ohio -- The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and ABC Sports have reached an agreement with Penn State University to serve as host of the 1999 Pigskin Classic, one of the two preseason football games sponsored by the Association.

The Nittany Lions will face the University of Arizona in the 93,967-seat Beaver Stadium. The game will be aired on ABC Sports on Saturday, August 28 at 1:00 p.m. EDT (10:00 a.m. PDT).

Penn State University completed last season with an overall record of 9-3, including a victory over the University of Kentucky in the Outback Bowl. They were ranked 15th in the USA today/ESPN Coaches poll and 17th in the Associated Press poll. The Nittany Lions return 17 starters and have been led for the past 33 years by Joe Paterno (307-80-3, 79.1%). Paterno is first among active coaches in victories and second among active coaches in winning percentage.

Five members of the nationally-ranked Penn State defense were named first-team all-Big 10 and 42 of the first 48 players on the Nittany Lions' depth chart have eligibility remaining in 1999.

"We are delighted to host Arizona in one of the traditional preseason games staged by NACDA," says Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley. "The Wildcats had an outstanding season in 1998 and, with many of last year's standouts returning, stack up as a formidable opponent."

Arizona completed the 1998 campaign with an overall record of 12-1. The Wildcats received a final ranking of 4th in both national polls, its highest ranking ever, and ended the year with a victory over the University of Nebraska, 23-20, in the Holiday Bowl. Pac-10 champion UCLA was the only team to defeated the Wildcats, which finished with a conference record of 7-1. Coach Dick Tomey led Arizona to its best record in the 94 seasons. In 12 years, Tomey has compiled a record of 84-52-4 and has won more than 60 percent of his games. The Wildcats return 16 starters to kickoff the 1999 campaign.

"With two highly rated teams, this has the making of a tremendous start to the 1999 college football season," says Jim Livengood, director of athletics at Arizona and NACDA's president. "The University of Arizona and the Wildcat football team is excited and proud to be involved in a game with Penn State University. The tradition and respect that the Penn State football program commands is second to none."

This is both teams' first appearance in the Pigskin Classic. However, Penn State has appeared in NACDA's other preseason game, the Kickoff Classic three teams. The Nittany Lions lost the inaugural Kickoff Classic to the University of Nebraska in 1983; and defeated Georgia Tech in 1991 and the University of Southern California in 1996.

Proceeds from the Pigskin Classic go to the participating institutions, the American Football Coaches Foundation, NACDA and the NACDA Foundation. As a result of this game and the NACDA-sponsored Kickoff Classic, close to $500,000 in postgraduate scholarships are awarded annually. This includes a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship being awarded one student-athlete from each of the four schools participating in the preseason games. Since 1983, the NACDA Foundation has provided more than $8.1 million in postgraduate scholarships.

The NACDA Foundation provides educational assistance to NACDA members and to student-athletes. The Foundation annually sponsors workshops and clinics to continue in the educational efforts of its member athletic directors, assistants and associates. This includes workshops for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); marketing, facilities and fund raising workshops; and seminars on the administrative issues of interest to athletic directors. The Foundation also sponsors an internship program for aspiring athletics administrators. Currently, close to 90 students have benefited from this program, working from three to nine months at NACDA's national office.