By Trista Merrival
Pine Ridge, S.D.
Jerry Price, 52, is in many ways the public face of Princeton sports. He’s responsible for the publication and promotion of the university’s athletic program—a job that calls for him to tell positive stories about Tiger athletics.
“If you’re relying on media to come cover your team, what are they going to say? ‘They lost again; they can’t score a goal,’” Price said. By contrast, in telling the stories himself, he can put forward an upbeat narrative about Princeton athletics.
Still, while his job description calls for him to tell positive stories about Tiger athletics, Price is also willing to be quite blunt.
He didn’t need to do much spinning when discussing last year’s women’s basketball team: It finished with a record of 31-1, ending the season ranked No. 13 in the country. But when it came to one of Princeton’s less-storied squads—men’s hockey, which won just four games last year—Price spoke candidly, echoing a reporter’s suggestion and conceding that the team currently “stinks.”
Princeton, like other Ivy League schools, has high academic standards for athletes. Recruiters look for players who are equally smart as they are athletic. The student athletes have an academic index that they need to be in range of when applying or being recruited.
With its focus on academics, Princeton is in some ways a natural fit for Price. Before joining the university, he wrote for The Times of Trenton and The Princeton Packet. “The ability to write is what separates people,” he said. He noted that he hopes to someday write a book.