Saturday, March 19, 2011

If LIU students don't care about their own university's basketball team, how do they care about Atlantic Yards?

What must they be thinking on the Long Island University campus in Brooklyn?

In a 3/17/11 article headlined It May Be News to Brooklyn, but Basketball’s Spotlight Is on One of Its Own, the New York Times reported:
Now, L.I.U.-Brooklyn has jumped on the express to new heights. The university, by winning its conference championship, earned one of 68 bids to the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament. This Friday in Charlotte, N.C., it will play a polar opposite in school spirit, campus acreage and basketball tradition: the University of North Carolina.

Few on Flatbush Avenue seemed to know or care that the Blackbirds had made it. Junior’s Cheesecake, across the street, is stocked with sports memorabilia including a Brooklyn Nets jersey, but nothing from L.I.U.

There were no banners on campus, just two red electronic outdoor signs with a reminder to support the Blackbirds. The team did not sell out its home games until the Northeast Conference final, when the gym (capacity 1,800) was packed with students and faculty members, and some local groups who got free tickets.

...“We have had some spirit issues here over the years,” said Greg Fox, the associate athletic director for external relations. “We’re a commuter school, primarily, and our students tend to be more reactionary than proactive.”
The AY connection

Why is this important? Because the campus provost, Gale Stevens Haynes (a self-described basketball fan also quoted in the article) said in a sworn affidavit in the case challenging the Atlantic Yards timetable (heard this past week):
The students and faculty at LIU-Brooklyn are very supportive of the Atlantic Yards Redevelopment Project. The advantages of the Project are abundant.

... I know that the students and faculty of LIU-Brooklyn firmly believe that the important public benefits that will result from the Project will outweigh any adverse impacts of extended construction on our neighborhoods.
If LIU students don't care about their own university's basketball team, how do they care about Atlantic Yards?

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