TMI ’11: the Indiana State edition

Ed. Note: For those of you new to Linebacker-U, every year we take a look at the universities behind the football teams on Penn State’s schedule. Think of it as a 411 of worthless knowledge. We’ll discuss on- the-field stuff when the season rolls around but for now we take a lighthearted look at the schools and traditions that make up the team. For those of you that were with us from the beginning (hi mom!) some of these will be repeats. For most of you this will be new. Today we take a look at Penn State’s first opponent Indiana State.

About the University

Indiana State University was established by the Indiana General Assembly on December 20, 1865, as the Indiana State Normal School in Terre Haute, Indiana. As is the case with most schools, it started out as a teachers college and was renamed the Indiana State Teachers College in 1929. Like most schools ISU’s mission broadened and was renamed Indiana State College in 1961 and finally Indiana State University in 1965. Indiana State is the first public university in Indiana to require incoming freshmen to have a laptop. ISU offers Dell laptops to incoming freshmen with high high school GPAs of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) as part of its Laptop Initiative.  Indiana State has a proud tradition of a yearly tricycle race.  That’s right, grown men race “modified” tricycles.



This is going to get tricky, you might want to take notes to keep up. Early on, the athletic teams of Indiana State referred to themselves as the “Fighting Teachers” (creative, I know). Then the students, in their infinite wisdom, chose the incredibly intimidating name “Sycamores” because apparently there was an overabundance of trees in Indiana.*


During the 50′s and 60′s the mascot was an actual Sycamore tree, but let’s just say that a tree doesn’t lend itself well to athletic events (obviously). So what did every school of that error adopt as a mascot?? Some random Native American; enter Chief Quabachi. Chief Quabachi came from the Sycamore Indian tribe but there’s just one problem: there is no such thing as the Sycamore Indian tribe. So in 1989 for reasons of political correctness Chief Quabachi was officially retired. For six years ISU had no mascot until 1995 a blue-and-white “furry woodland creature” named “Sycamore Sam” was unveiled.

Sycamore Sam

You’d think it was a fox right? WRONG says ISU Athletic Director Andi Myers, it’s not even an animal. “He is not an animal,” Myers explained. “He is described as a furry fox-like creature.” Confused yet? Me too, let’s move on.

Football related data

Last season: 6-5

Indiana State plays in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and has competed in 2 NCAA Division I Football Championships winning only 1 game back in 1983. The Sycamores shared the 1964 Heartland Collegiate Conference title with 4 schools when they went 4-2 in the conference and 6-2 overall.

Famous Alumni

The list of Alumni for Indiana State is very, very thin, but we’ll give it a try.

Olympic Wrestling Gold Medalist Bruce Baumgartner was a Sycamore. Larry Bird graduated from Indiana State. tOSU head basketball coach Thad Matta called Indiana State home. Burl Ives was a Sycamore.

Frosty was a Sycamore

Someone named Bubba the Love Sponge graduated from Indiana State.

This is Bubba the love Sponge

…and that’s about it.  Hey if Bubba the love Sponge doesn’t impress you, nothing will.


*there’s rumor that the students chose this name as a joke, let’s hope for their sake that the rumor is true because Sycamore is a lame mascot.

  • Daniel greenwell

    What an informed and well put together opinion about the game! Hint of sarcasm.

    • Mike

      I know you said your comment was sarcasm, but you do realize that these “TMI” posts are satire, right? It’s understandable that you’ve likely never been here before, never mind visited for last year’s season of TMI posts. We do this every year. It’s supposed to be funny, which it is, as long as no one takes them seriously.

  • Nick

    If your going to make this funny or informative, maybe you should get your facts right. You have Andi Myers listed as our Athletic Director. But the funny thing is, is he hasn’t been our Athletic Director for a long time. The Under Armour AD of the year, Ron Prettyman, is our AD. Get it right and then I might have laughed.

    • Mike

      I think you guys are being a little too combative over this. You think maybe Galen didn’t mention Prettyman because Prettyman didn’t offer that quote about the mascot? So we didn’t call him “FORMER athletic director,” oooh sorry!

      Geez you guys. If you think we’re bad, you’re lucky ISU isn’t playing Iowa. You’d probably crap your pants if you read what Black Heart Gold Pants would write about ISU.

  • Norm

    Couple of things from an ISU grad originally from French Lick — Andi Meyers is not our current AD and just as importantly its a “she” — not a “he”

    Famous alumni list is not as long as a Big Ten school of course, but you might add:

    Kurt Thomas
    Tommy John
    and a relatively unknown college coach who recieved his Masters from ISU (while guiding the Sycamores to national tournaments — losing in the title game in the late 40′s to Louisville) ………….a guy named John Wooden — left ISU to go out West to an unknown school on the coast — not sure what happened to him ? ? ?

  • Galen

    For the record I know that Andi Meyers is NOT ISU’s current AD, if you follow that link the article was written when he was. I was merely quoting the article.

  • Norm

    Once again “Andi Meyers” is/was a FEMALE — I think one of the first female AD’s at a university the size of ISU. While I’m certain she did some fine things as AD, many credit her (and other ISU administrators) with degrading the ISU football program so that it led to the disasters of the early 2000′s seasons.
    While the Penn State game will obviously be a challenge for the ISU team, PSU fans should not expect anything like a team that only won a couple of games over several seasons to roll into Happy Valley. This is a pretty good football team for the Missouri Valley Conference level, with some outstanding players — some of whom played a year or so at major national football power type of schools, along with some kids who were recruited out of high school who could have definitely played at Big Ten schools. They are led by coaches with big time experience in major college football.
    Should be a PSU win alright, but ISU could provide some suprises for the Happy Valley crowd.