Reaching Others University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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UB Reporter

Q&A

Danny White

Published August 8, 2013

Danny White

Danny White is director of athletics.

UB Athletics is moving to expand and enhance the visibility of UB’s athletic teams in New York State and nationwide. Tell me about it.

DW: With an alumni base that reaches across New York, we felt it was time to capitalize on our status in the Empire State, similar to our peer AAU institutions that compete at the FBS level across the country. So we’ve developed and are testing a new wordmark that emphasizes the words “New York” in the university’s official name: “University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.”

Does the new mark represent a name change for the university or its athletics teams?

DW: No, UB’s athletic teams will continue to be known and referred to as “UB” or “Buffalo.”

So why develop the new mark?

DW: The new wordmark is intended to emphasize UB’s stature as the largest and most comprehensive public university in New York State. That’s a powerful recruitment incentive for student-athletes.

How is the new mark being used?

DW: The mark is being used on the UB football jerseys this season and is featured on the Alumni Arena basketball court. The university’s official interlocking “UB” logo still will be prominently displayed on the football team’s helmet and “Buffalo” is prominently displayed on the pants of the football uniform. Other UB athletics uniforms also will feature the interlocking “UB logo” and the word “Buffalo.”

What do you say to people who say featuring the word “New York” diminishes UB athletics’ connection to Buffalo?

DW: The emphasis on “New York” is not intended to distance UB’s athletic teams from our home in Buffalo, from the city’s proud history or from Western New York’s attractive quality of life. Highlighting the fact that New York State’s leading public university is in Buffalo is a powerful message. We believe that our position in the state is a position of strength and serves as a point of pride for the city of Buffalo, as well as the Western New York community at large.

What can Bulls fans look forward to in the 2013-14 academic year?

DW: We have talented student-athletes and coaches who are working tirelessly toward the pursuit of championships. Many of our sports are positioned well to be successful as we work to build a winning culture. We are collaborating with the campus community to create the best game-day atmosphere possible as we bring the pageantry of college athletics here to UB. From pre-game concerts, to student focused promotions, to championship-caliber teams, there will be a tremendous amount of excitement this year!

READER COMMENTS

Intentions are not necessarily transferred to reality, especially when the intention shows itself as a real shift to a new identifier: namely a logo and a phrase. So let's try to keep it straight and transparent.

Many questions are being asked by alumni and friends of UB about the stealth nature of the new mark and why. Why the secrecy and quick completion of the visual changes on athletic clothing and gym floor? No campaign for public view or discussion? If there was, we didn't get to hear or see any of it. Could this be the first big step to minimizing Buffalo to obscurity?

Remember the controversy over the word "at" in the renaming of UB when we originally joined the state system? The resolution then was partly solved by referencing the sports teams as UB instead of U at B, which was first proposed.

By the way, successful academic and sports recruiting has a lot more to do with winning teams than name and logo changes. Was the exsisting brand not working well? How do we know this, if true? If the lady changes her lipsick a shade or two more red, does that make her kiss more passionately?

Finally, why the rush to print and paint before we can offer agreement or complaints? Do our state paid employees know better than we? Do they have as much skin in the game as do the alumni?

Ray Paolini, '60

I am a graduate of THE UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO. It was still private in 1960. It still is a fine university, but when I received my master's, the name had changed to the State University of New York At Buffalo. To me it had a different feel and quality, same as the big difference in the quality of education in public K-12 and private K-12 schools. We all know that when the government is behind anything it usually gets a poor grade.

James E Grapes

My teamate Ray Paolini said it best in his comments above.

When people see N.Y. on the uniform, they will think of New York City. Why didn't anyone ask for input from former alums, players, etc? Why the hurry, without dicussion or input from people who have skin in the game?

I am very disappointed!!!

Ken Born, '59

I'm a proud member of the '58 Bulls and love UB. The only memories I have of our relationship with New York State is the disgusting way the state allowed intercollegiate football to be relegated to the scrap pile. It took the hard work of many devoted alumni, led by Jack "Bear" Dempsey, Ray Paolini, Willie Evans, Jim Grapes, Charlie Tyrone, Kevin Brinkworth and dozens of others (to whom I apologize for not recognizing) to bring respect back to the UB emblem, not NYSU @ Buffalo.

I do not understand the change in thought, except to view it as an attempt to put more pressure on Albany for greater support of the university's athletic programs. Do I trust government to get anything right? No, and that's 78 years of experience talking.

Having had my say, as part of the UB athletic family I will do all in my power to see that this change gets a fair look. I trust our AD and I am certain he has the university's athletic program's best interests at heart. The proof is in the pudding, as my mother use to say.

Good luck and here's hoping the right decision was made.

Phil Bamford  

I am very disappointed that the hasn't-been-here-all-that-long UB AD saw fit to take it upon himself to cavalierly rename our university and redesign our logo. To argue that the name change he suggests (which is horribly long and horribly awkward) will enhance our visibility throughout the state is rather disingenuous. It didn't happen when we were the State University of New York at Buffalo. And since New York State has little by little decreased its support over the years, the name hasn't much meaning. I, for one, was delighted when the name was changed to the University at Buffalo a few years ago (thank you, Bill Greiner!). Now, that has meaning!

Anne Reilly Tirone, '94

I just saw a picture of the new UB logo in the Buffalo News. All I can see is "NEW YORK." Wait a minute, wait a minute. Oh, yeah. There's "Buffalo"; it's soooo tiny I couldn't see it. And neither will anyone else! How is this supposed to "enhance the visibility of UB's athletic teams" if there is no "visibility" of UB (not there at all) or Buffalo (in miniscule print). This is not a logo. This is an insult.

Anne Reilly Tirone

When UB merged within the state system in '62, the resulting SUNY at Buffalo name was very weak, as was the U at Buffalo years later. As the kingpin of the state universities, maybe the name should have been "New York State U. or U. of New York" After all, there was Michigan State U, U. of Michigan, Ohio State U, U. of Ohio,  North Carolina State U, U. of North Carolina Florida State U, U of Florida etc. etc. And there are other state universities within each of these states, as there are in New York with their individual names. In NY, there is Stony Brook U, Binghamton U. Maybe it should have been Buffalo U and still utilizing the UB logo as it is.

Bob Kohansky, '65

This appears to be a reaction to Syracuse University rebranding itself as "New York's" team. Those of us who are alumni of both schools (UB '85 and SU '88) recognized the rebranding right away. It has not worked for SU and it will not work for UB. As one of the writers above stated, fans respect winning traditions not rebranding. I wonder if Albany, Binghamton and Stoney Brook will follow suit? Why wouldn't they? What then?

Greg Monashefsky, '85

I don't really have much to add that already hasn't been written above. I graduated in '87 and UB, University of (at) Buffalo or SUNY Buffalo were how I referred to the school.

Stephen Plourde, 87

I'm personally a huge fan of the move. More incoming students this year are from "downstate" than ever before. We are the ONLY D-1 football school in the state. If we ever want to become the Wisconsin (Madison) of Wisconsin  or the Penn State (State College) of Pennsylvania or Nevada (Reno) of Nevada we need this change. If we ever dream of leaving the MAC for another conference, we need to be more about a medium-sized city near Canada and before THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NY.

Matt Cohen

A good test of the White's statement about the "name change" will be how UB is identified on the crawl at the bottom of the screen for ESPN. If it continues to say BUFFALO, then there's a good balance with what White proposes. On the other hand, if it says "NEW YORK," I have to question White's veracity.

Michael Novak, '81

I sent this letter Oct. 8 by email to both the Athletic Office and Mr. White's own email addresses. A few days ago, I pasted it at the "comments" link on the UB Bulls website. None of these received any reply. Just this week I drilled into the Reporter archives and saw the Q&A with Danny White of Aug. 8, long before we were back on campus. So I am pasting that same communication here, hoping it will add to the expressions of displeasure that more Bulls fans from the community are making to me and in the press:

 

I am a 43-year faculty member and a regular Bulls booster; I recently purchased two season subscriptions to basketball. I brought 4 friends to the Connecticut football game, two of them UB alumni; I came with one friend to the E. Michigan game. My friends and I are not happy with the new lettering on the field and in the program, with "Buffalo" in very small letters and "NEW YORK" in large letters. And we are especially disturbed by the new "New York Bulls initiative."  The initiative, with the cooperation of local businesses, is a great idea; but we are not the New York Bulls; we are the University at Buffalo Bulls. We are SUNY, but "New York" cannot stand alone. That's not us; we don't represent the whole state.

 

A letter in today's Buffalo News confirms that others share this disappointment. What's going on? Buffalo is building and a lot of the city's new growth is pushed by us; our university is engaged in an ambitious growth plan; we are the flagship of the SUNY system. WHY are you downplaying the name "Buffalo," and instead emphasizing "New York"?

 

Please respond, and it would be helpful if you would respond to the whole UB community.

 

Phil Stevens, associate professor of anthropology