The Penn State Nittany Lions hosted Michigan State for each team’s final dual meet of the season this past weekend. As the last home meet for Penn State, it was senior day, and the Nittany Lions staff decided wanted to go the extra mile for the visiting Spartans as well.
As shown in the tweet below, Penn State put together a ceremony for the Michigan State seniors as well. Penn State AD Sandy Barbour was present at the ceremony, where she personally congratulated each of the Spartan seniors.
Class move by a class act. @SandyB_PSUAD recognizes seniors on Saturday. @msuswimdive seniors that is. This exemplifies @bigten class.@gopsusports @battleformsu @PennStateSWIM pic.twitter.com/R4iI3JZizb
— CSCAA (@CSCAA) February 6, 2021
Penn State head swim coach Tim Murphy told SwimSwam that the decision to honor the Michigan State seniors was fundamentally less about Penn State did, and “more about the Michigan State swimmers.” Murphy noted that this meet was possibly the Michigan State swimming & diving program’s last regular season meet, given that Michigan State intends to eliminate the program following this season. “I have a lot of admiration and respect for the MSU athletes and staff that have been through a huge adversity this season,” Murphy added.
“We’re all in this together,” Murphy told SwimSwam, adding that “When a conference team is gone, we lose opportunities, student-athletes lose opportunities, and there are less coaching opportunities.” Given that, Murphy said Penn State wanted to do whatever they could to make the trip that much more special for Michigan State.
Murphy was speaking with Michigan State head coach Matt Gianiodis before the meet, and the conversation “turned to wanting to do something for them [Michigan State].” Since Penn State was already prepared for its own senior day celebration, they decided on setting up to give the Michigan State seniors their own ceremony too. PSU sent out for a green and white backdrop for the Michigan State ceremony. AD Barbour was already planning to be at the meet to celebrate the Penn State senior athletes, and she “loved the idea” of honoring the Spartan athletes as well.
With the last regular season meet out of the way, Penn State and Michigan State each shift their attention to the Big Ten Swimming & Diving Championships, which are just a few weeks away.