Please verify

Blaze Media
Watch LIVE

University of Illinois Uses Picture of Coach Hugging Shirtless Son to Promote Game Against Penn State


University to TheBlaze: Some are calling it the "the photo of the year"

Image: University of Illinois Athletic Dept.

Which word correctly describes the email advertisement that was sent to University of Illinois basketball fans on Thursday morning?

  • Insensitive
  • Ignorant
  • Intentional

Perhaps it was a combination of all three of those words that led someone to select this photo to advertise an upcoming basketball game between the University of Illinois and Penn State?

Image: University of Illinois Athletic Dept.

According to CBS Chicago, the photo is of the Illini's head coach John Groce hugging his shirtless son following the teams's big win over top-ranked Indiana last week. And it was plastered with the slogan, “No Matter Who’s Your Valentine, Surprise Them With Tickets To The Game.”

The ad doesn't name the coach or mention that the young boy is his son. One might assume that since the e-mail was being sent to loyal fans, most recipients would likely recognize the two figures. However, many people who see the photo and realize that the game is being played against Penn State, could be reminded of last year's shocking story of sexual abuse by a Penn State football coach.

TheBlaze spoke to Kent Brown, the Sports Information Director for the University of Illinois. Brown said they have had no negative reaction to the image from fans who received the email. He also stated that the photo, taken just a week ago when the team won the big game against Indiana, was being called "the photo of the year" by many in the sports world and has "even been featured on ESPN."

Most recent
All Articles