Nittany Nation

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Nittany Nation
Formation 2003
Purpose College basketball student section
Headquarters Bryce Jordan Center
Affiliations Penn State Nittany Lions men's basketball

Nittany Nation is the student cheering section supporting the Penn State Nittany Lions men's basketball team. Founded during the 2003/04 season, the section is present at the Bryce Jordan Center for every home game with its name on the court along the sideline. ESPN and the Big Ten Network have featured the section during live game action.

Until 2007, the organization was known as "Nittwits."


Nittany Nation stands courtside surrounding three sides of the floor at the Jordan Center where they cheer for the team. All Penn State basketball student season ticket holders are members of the organization and receive a white Nike t-shirt[1] to wear during games as a part of their efforts to distract the opposing team and provide a home court advantage. Students occasionally wear blue and white scarves to complement their t-shirt.

Forty Minutes is the official gameday publication of Nittany Nation, providing information about the Nittany Lions basketball team and their opponent on any particular night.

The Ohio State editions for both 2005 and 2006 were criticized by Buckeyes fans for being unsportsmanlike due to references regarding allegations that several notable athletes received illegal donations during their college career.[2]

During the 2007/08 season, participation in the Nation dramatically increased, with over 5700 students attending an ESPN-televised contest against Ohio State.[3]

Nittany Nation also plans away game bus trips to both conference and non-conference gymnasiums. Past excursions include visits to Seton Hall, Michigan, St. Joseph's, Penn, and Virginia Tech. Over 30 busloads of students were brought to Madison Square Garden to watch the Nittany Lions capture the 2009 National Invitation Tournament championship.[4][5]


Nittany Nation helps organize several events with the university's athletic department and the basketball team to benefit the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, including a dodgeball tournament in the fall,[6] and an attendance-based fundraiser at one home game during the Big Ten season.[3]


In March 2006, ESPN's Page 2 did a nationwide search for the top male and female student fans of college basketball.[7] In a contest that included students from such basketball powerhouses as Duke University, Gonzaga University and the University of Connecticut, former section president Jennifer Owsiany garnered the most tallies when voting was completed at the conclusion of March Madness on April 3, 2006.[8] Nittany Nation was also featured in conjunction with the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon as part of ESPN's Student Spirit Week for the Nittany Lions' 2008 matchup against Ohio State.[9]



  1. ^ "Penn State Live: Event promotes sales of basketball student tickets". Retrieved October 1, 2008. 
  2. ^ "The Columbus Dispatch: Penn State fans’ newsletter pokes fun at OSU athletics". Retrieved July 6, 2006. 
  3. ^ a b "The Daily Collegian: Proceeds from game will benefit Thon". Retrieved March 31, 2008. 
  4. ^ Lewis, Brian (April 2, 2009). "New York Post: NITTANY NATION IS RIGHT AT HOME". Retrieved April 2, 2009. 
  5. ^ Ogle, Mike (April 3, 2009). "New York Times: Penn State Wins Its First N.I.T. at a Raucous Garden". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2009. 
  6. ^ "The Daily Collegian: Teams raise money, dodge balls for Thon". Retrieved March 31, 2008. 
  7. ^ " Page 2: Vote for Miss Bracket". Retrieved July 6, 2006. 
  8. ^ " Meet the 2006 Miss Bracket - Jennifer Owsiany". Retrieved July 6, 2006. [dead link]
  9. ^ Commentators: Brent Musburger, Steve Lavin and Erin Andrews (2008-01-29). "Student Spirit Week: Ohio State at Penn State (2008)". Super Tuesday. ESPN. 

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