Misinterpreted Fighting Illini basketball promotion exudes family values (photo)

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It’s been a great week and change for Illinois Fighting Illini basketball. They beat the #1 Indiana Hoosiers, then the #18 Minnesota Golden Gophers at their place. Then they finally ended their 8 game losing streak to Purdue, trouncing them by 20. I don’t have the facts and figures, but I bet the winning streak was good for their ticketing office. So things were going great for their marketing…

…until this happened.

From Deadspin:

Illinois’s ticket office sent this email blast out to its fans early this morning—view the full email online here, while it lasts—as a Valentine’s Day promotion.

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We think the department had the most pure of intentions here. We believe Illinois marketing and ticketing was just trying to portray wholesome, Midwestern family values by incorporating a very touching moment between coach John Groce and his son following an emotional victory over the best team in college basketball. This picture could be the sports photo of the year.

This was just an oversight. Do you honestly believe a professional at this level would intentionally taunt PSU by conjuring up images of pedophilia?

The only reason Deadspin made a big deal of this is because the opponent is Penn State (Even though it’s the wrong sport) Had it been any other opponent, no one would have read anything more into it. In the wake of the Paterno report being released, the horrible crimes of Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno are once again back in the spotlight. It’s only a coincidence, nothing more.

This man and child are father and son. This embrace is a powerful, emotional moment that revolves around Fighting Illini basketball. St. Valentine’s Day is a time to be with the ones that you love, and that includes your family.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Chicago Now

A Fulbright scholar, published author and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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