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Credit: Michael Chien

The fourth installment of our “Remembering Penn basketball” series features former DP editor David Burrick (C’06).

Favorite story: The most interesting story I ever wrote was on the eve of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, when Penn took on Texas in Dallas. As a frequent viewer of the NCAA Tournament, I have always appreciated the institutional ads that all the schools run talking about how great they are.

I thought it would be fun to find Penn’s commercial and write an article about it. I called about a dozen people at Penn trying to track down the commercial, as well as some folks at CBS and the Ivy League, but nobody could find it.

It turned out there was a simple reason why: Penn didn’t have a commercial. In fact, school administrators didn’t even know that the University was entitled to ad time during the NCAA Tournament. As a direct result of my article, the next year Penn produced a series of spiffy commercials, featuring beautiful images of the University narrated by some famous alums (Andrea Mitchell, John Legend). Unfortunately, the Quakers have only been to one NCAA Tournament since these commercials were produced.

Favorite game: Penn’s comeback over Princeton in 2005 remains my favorite lifetime sports moment to date. The best part was that I didn’t cover this game for The DP, so I got to rush the court.

Favorite venue: Covering Penn for the DP took me to lots of fun places like San Diego and Wisconsin, but the best venue was definitely Cameron Indoor at Duke. Press row is right in front of stands that are packed with the Cameron Crazies, so the only way you can get to your seat is by walking on the court and climbing over the table.

Favorite Fran Dunphy moment (Part 1): Fran Dunphy stopped a basketball practice to criticize a recap I wrote about a recent Penn golf tournament. He was upset that I wrote that one of Penn’s players came in “dead-last.” He told me that the only way it would be acceptable for me to point this out was if the golfer was my friend and I was “simply busting his balls.”

Favorite Fran Dunphy moment (part 2): Fran Dunphy called my cell phone to complain that I printed a recruit’s SAT scores (they were too low and he needed to improve them in order to get into Penn). Fran: “David, how would you feel if we printed your SAT scores in the DP?” David: “Coach, I am quite proud of my SAT scores.” Fran: “Fair enough.”

Favorite Fran Dunphy moment (part 3): When Fran Dunphy took the job at Temple, I wrote a blog post thanking him for all the time he had spent with me and other DP reporters. Within an hour of posting the article, I received phone calls from both Coach Dunphy and his wife, Ree. Total class act.


Remembering Penn basketball: former DP sports editor Jeff Shafer

Remembering Penn basketball: former DP sportswriter Andrew Todres

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